If your smartphone has been stolen, you should lock it as soon as possible so that the thief does not also get important data. Android and iOS now have functions that you can use to locate and lock your cell phone. If that doesn't work, the IMEI may still be able to help. In this tip you will find out what it is, how you can use it and what limitations there are unfortunately.
This is how you can use the IMEI number in the event of theft
You should find a stolen smartphone as soon as possible with Google's “ Find my device ” or Apple's “ Where is? "Locate and, if necessary, block:
- Read here how to locate and lock an Android smartphone.
- Find out how to locate and lock an iPhone here.
In order to prevent misuse, you should also have your SIM card blocked. To do this, call the blocking hotline 116 166 (or from abroad +49 30 4050 4050) and enter your mobile phone number , SIM card number , customer number and the password of your mobile phone contract. You should also report your device as stolen to the police. In addition to the mobile phone and SIM card number, you must also have the device's IMEI number ready.
What is the IMEI and how do you get the number?
The IMEI is the " International Mobile Equipment Identity " that is assigned to every smartphone. Your mobile phone can therefore be identified and theoretically located using the number. It is used, for example, by your mobile network provider to be able to assign your SIM card to you.
You can often find the number on cell phone bills and it is also often noted on the packaging of cell phones. Alternatively, you can enter the key combination * # 06 # into the number pad in the phone app on your smartphone to display the IMEI of your device..
How can you use the IMEI?
In the past, you could have cell phones blocked by the mobile operator via the IMEI . However, the function has now been discontinued at all major providers because the service was not used very often and incorrect devices were regularly blocked. In any case, this was not a reliable protection, as the IMEI lock could be bypassed with special software. In order to lock your device, you should therefore use the built-in lock functions in Android and iOS.
You should still have the IMEI ready for the police Can help you if you report the device as stolen. Theoretically, the police could locate the cell phone with the number, but are only allowed to do so if there is a serious crime - and only to track down the perpetrator, not the device. Either way, however, the IMEI is needed to associate the device with you if it is found. You will then be contacted and your smartphone will be returned.