It may not be the most exciting part about buying a new smartphone: no doubt your attention is more likely to be taken up with the amount of RAM, the size of the screen, the sound quality, the rich number of pixels for the camera; even the color of the phone, but there’s only one thing that can help you trace your phone in the unfortunate event it is lost or stolen. We are talking about the all-important IMEI number.
Every smartphone has one. It’s short for International Mobile Equipment Identity. Each IMEI number is unique to each phone, and it’s the way service providers and law enforcement officers can trace the phone when it is lost or stolen. Armed with this number your service provider can quickly block it, meaning the criminal who stole it cannot continue use your phone, and should he try to sell it on it will immediately show up to all co-operating service providers as being blacklisted.
So as you can see, it’s a very important number, and whenever you buy a new phone, the very first thing you should do is take note of it – but never on your mobile phone. Always keep it separate from the phone you are using. The reason a lot of mobile phone crime is still prevalent around the globe is because many people are not aware of how important this number is, and so they simply fail to take note of it.
The most straightforward, safe and easy way to find your IMEI number is to tap your phone and punch in the USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) code: *#06#. This will automatically bring up your IMEI number for you to carefully copy and store away in the event it is needed. By the way, as your IMEI is attached to your SIM, if you have a dual SIM phone, both numbers will be required.
Apple iPhone 5 or more recent models have the IMEI number located at the back of the phone. The IMEI number is engraved at the base on the phone’s back. Once again, you should note this down so you have it if the phone is lost. This method is OK if you know for certain the phone is brand new out of the box, but NEVER depend on it if the phone is bought secondhand.
The IMEI can also be also be found in the software of the phone. Go to Settings, tap on General, then tap on About and your IMEI number will be revealed.
For Android phones, tap on Settings and then tap on ‘About Device’ or ‘About Phone’. In ‘About Device’ tap on ‘Status’ and simply scroll down until you see your IMEI number listed.
In the event your Android phone has been stolen and you are unable to punch in the code above or check on the Settings, all is not lost. You can still find it without the phone provided your device is connected to your Google account. All you have to do is sign in to Google Dashboard with the account that was connected to your Android phone. In the Dashboard, tap on “Android”, look for the green robot on the side. All the Android devices that use this account will be displayed along with their IMEI number, even if the Google account is changed.
LG > Settings > About > Phone Identity
BlackBerry> Settings > About > General > Hardware
If you still need other options, there are other ways you can find the IMEI, but these are NOT as reliable as the methods above.
On the box
In the unhappy event your phone is lost or stolen, provided you have kept the box it came in, look for the barcode on the side or the bottom of the box—your IMEI number should be clearly listed there. However, this is not recommended as a method because there is no guarantee the box matches the exact phone – even if bought from a reputable store, mix-ups can happen.
By using iTunes
If you have ever encountered that frustrating moment when a phone fails to boot up for reasons unknown, it is still possible to find the IMEI number. If you have an iTunes account, start by plugging your phone into your computer and launching iTunes, then select your iPhone from the Devices section of the left-hand menu. Go to the Summary tab, then click the 'Phone Number' entry to find your IMEI.
Housing or SIM Card Tray (valid for most phones)
Many brands have the IMEI actually printed on the device; it could be on the SIM card tray, under the battery holder, or even on the back of the housing somewhere. For example, an iPhone will either have the IMEI on the back of the phone or printed inside the SIM card tray. Lumia phones will have it either on the SIM card tray, on the housing, or behind the battery.
However, once again, there are some important reasons why these methods are NOT recommended. There is a significant risk that the phone may have been refurbished, tampered with (i.e. an IMEI Change), or the SIM Tray lost and then replaced. These are therefore not surefire and safe ways to identify your IMEI, so we strongly recommend that you NEVER use these methods to find the IMEI of your cell phone.
The best, simplest and most secure way is listed on Step 1; Punch in *#06#, write your IMEI number down somewhere safe where you can always find it and enjoy peace of mind.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, scammers will go to any lengths to try and persuade you they have a device for sale when in fact they don’t. They will often find pictures of the exact model they are selling on the internet on sites such as eBay or other similar auction sites where a genuine Seller has taken genuine pictures of the product.
This can easily fool a customer into believing the deal is for real, as they can tell that the pictures are home-made, even to the point where the Seller appears to holding the phone in his living room to add extra authenticity.
If deceived, the Buyer parts with his/her money and waits for a device that will never arrive. The device could never be sent because the scammer never owned it in the first place.
This situation graphically demonstrates the reason why you should never be tempted to send money by Western Union, because once your money is sent, it’s gone.
Simple. To protect our customers and to ensure Sellers genuinely have the device they say they have, we have devised a 5 step plan to ensure they can prove they genuinely have the device.
Step 1: The Seller completes the online form by filling in the product specs in the usual way.
Step 2: The Seller now clicks to upload his photographs. A unique listing code for each is now revealed in the URL browser.
Step 3: The Seller must copy down the unique listing code to be found in the browser onto a piece of paper. Do not print out the number, or try to do it digitally.
Step 4: The Seller places the handwritten code next to the device for sale, without obscuring the product.
Step 5: The Seller takes a picture of the device next to the piece of paper with the number on it.
This way Buyers can check against the device and the unique listing number and know that the Seller is truly in possession of the item.
If a Seller does not display the unique listing code you can request them to take another picture of their device following the procedure above. If they refuse or make up excuses, it’s probably a sign that you need to move on and buy from someone else. If they show you a picture that looks like it’s been done digitally, say no, believe us, some of these scammers are ingenious with Photoshop and they will go to any lengths to fool you.
Our aim is to prevent potential scammers from creating listings for high-dollar devices they simply do not own.
Each device verification photo should be taken in the following way:
There’s no question the internet has revolutionized the way we shop. Indeed, it’s had such a massive impact that several well-known high street names, household brands that survived for generations, have come crashing down because they simply could not compete with the unstoppable global power and cost savings of internet shopping.
But while those mighty bricks and mortar departmental stores may rapidly be becoming a thing of the past, they did give us something that is hard to find on the internet: scam proof purchasing. They offered this because they worked locally, and face to face. This simple rule cuts out 99% of all known scams.
If there is anything wrong with a product you buy in a reputable store, you can take it back, you can complain face to face to a manager, and most importantly, you can get a refund.
While there have been advances in consumer protection on the internet in recent years, the fact remains, once you stray from some of the most established names such as Amazon, or some of those well-known high street stores that have managed to develop a powerful web presence, you are, without question, opening yourself up to the possibility of being scammed.
If these scammers poured half their ingenuity into providing a good service rather than inventing devious ways to rip you off, they might actually make the fortunes they crave.
One of the reasons we formed Mobilebase.com is because too many scammers have found online cellphone purchases to be a fertile and lucrative field for pulling their scams.
That’s why we make every effort to vet all Sellers who put up a phone for sale on our site. If you are sold a fake phone on Mobilebase.com our consumer protection processes will ensure you get your money back.
That said, we can guarantee you that sooner or later, scammers, rip off artists and shady sales people are going to have a go at selling their products on our site. After all, it’s what they do. They try every possible avenue. Most will not succeed, but some may slip through the net. It’s a fact of internet life. Unlike Craigslist, which sells every product and service imaginable, we only deal in one area of enterprise: cellphones, smart phones and similar devices. While it reduces opportunities for the scammers to win, the best way to protect yourself is to rely on your own good judgement, and learn some of the tricks the scammers try to get you to part with your money.
Buy local: When purchasing on Mobilebase, if it’s possible to do so, always purchase locally, and before you agree to hand over any money, agree to meet face to face to inspect the merchandise.
Stay online: If this proves impossible, and you see the phone you really, really want advertised elsewhere there are ways to get to know your seller before committing to a sale. Mobilebase provides various methods for buyers and sellers to communicate online.
Don’t give personal contact details: We provide the ability to communicate via private comments, private messaging, or by providing by information for direct contact via email or phone. We recommend you try to communicate online through our website. If you purchase through Mobilebase you do not have to give your personal information such as your email address or phone number. That’s why we advise you to stay online with us. If the scammer has to work purely through Mobilebase’s communications systems, it limits his/her ability to start scamming you.
Know the ground rules: We make it a rule that the Seller is responsible for providing all possible support for any issues related to the item he or she has sold. However, the Seller is not responsible for providing technical support beyond troubleshooting issues related to activation and standard operation of the device you have purchased.
Say no to wiring money: Refuse all requests for purchases to be made via MoneyGram or Western Union. This should immediately send out alarm signals that you are dealing with a scammer. Don’t be fooled if they give you a Western sounding name for the wire payment to be sent, even if it’s to someone in your own country. Skilled operators in countries such as Nigeria and Ghana recruit cash strapped Westerners to receive money on their behalf for a small commission. They also post pictures of wholesome looking people on their profiles to reassure you they are legit. If you think you can bypass the problem by calling them on their cellphone, think again. Nigerians have been known to reroute phone calls from genuine US or European numbers back to their own country.
Test your Seller: Even if you are private messaging on Mobilebase, scammers may still try to fool you. It’s easy to fake pictures of a highly desirable phone and sound convincing about the product, but if they claim to be from a certain county or State, test them on their knowledge. Better to cause mild offence than to lose your money. Genuine sellers will be happy to verify themselves.
When it doesn’t sound right: Look out for poor spelling or grammar. That, coupled with a request for MoneyGram, Western Union, a Cashier’s check, or escrow payment is a sure sign you are dealing with a scammer.
Can’t meet, won’t meet: If a Seller claims to be local and cannot meet up with you for any number of vague and complicated reasons, or claims to be out of the country, avoid. Move on.
Say no to money orders: Sellers, if a buyer appears to want to purchase your goods no questions asked, no matter what the price, and they offer you a money order that exceeds the amount asked for your goods, this simply means they are trying to pass a dodgy financial instrument on to you that is unlikely to clear and could see you picking up the tab at the bank in the rare event that it does clear.
Always exercise good judgement: Remember, if anything doesn’t feel right, or you remain unconvinced, we are on hand to check things out for you. If you believe a product advertised is in any way connected to a scam, just contact our 24/7 support service.
Here we have listed 10 ways to beat the scammers, but unfortunately, scammers keep inventing new ways to trick you. So always remain vigilant, always ask questions, do as much due diligence and homework as you possibly can before you make your purchase. It’s our aim to make your purchase a safe and happy purchase every time. We hope this guide helps.
In the 19th century way out in the Wild, Wild West, ‘Boot Hill’ was the generic term for a graveyard. We figured Re-Boot Hill is therefore a fitting name for our old, used and abused cellphone and smartphone section.
In other words, Re-Boot Hill is Mobilebase’s ‘Boot Hill’ for older smartphones, damaged phones, and all your unwanted, outdated devices. These defunct or faulty items are NOT allowed to be sold on our regular pages, but there is still a thriving market for older generation phones, and phones that can be raided for their parts. After all, one man’s junk is another man’s gold.
Even though Re-Boot Hill is dedicated to phones that are past their prime, we still expect and insist the buying experience will be as honest and reliable as all our mainstream sections. Accordingly, descriptions should be as precise and accurate as if you are selling a brand new phone. Be specific about the phone’s faults, and or missing and damaged parts. Show pictures that clearly show any defects.
Because we will not be checking every description or picture posted, whether as a buyer or as a seller, please exercise caution and good judgement prior to buying. Also, as you are buying pre-owned or damaged goods rein in your expectations; you are not buying perfection, but you are perhaps buying something you need.
In the event you do end up buying an item that completely fails to meet its description, provided you have purchased via PayPal you will be fully protected by PayPal’s Purchase Protections. You can also use our Dispute Resolution Service to get your money back if the need arises.
There are no buyer or seller fees for advertising goods on Re-Boot Hill.
Re-Boot Hill is for the buying and selling of mobile related products and paraphernalia only. If it's not related to mobile devices, such as cell phones, smart phones, tablets, or wearables, please do not place it on Re-Boot Hill section for sale.
Mobilebase’s regular terms and conditions apply at all times.
Re-Boot Hill allows the sale and purchase of products that would not be allowed anywhere near our regular sections. These items include phones with cracked screens from when your girlfriend crushed it with her heels, old mobile hardware such as now quaint 1990s and early noughties flip phones, even 1980s Wall Street style mobile bricks if you think they will sell. That plus all the accessories that might go with such phones such as cases, leads and chargers.
Phones or tablets with a cracked screen and/or water damage. These can be sold or bought under our Damaged Devices section.
Parts for an iPhone 5 can be found in our Parts & Accessories section.
Cases, batteries, leads, chargers, SD cards etc. for any mobile device can also be found our Parts & Accessories section.
Phones flashed for a pre-paid carrier are available in the Flashed Phones section.
Portable Wi-Fi hotspot such as Verizon Jetpack or Sprint Mi-Fi are filed away in the Other Devices section.
Older and outmoded models such as flip-phones can also be sourced in the Other Devices section.
No lost or stolen devices
No blocked devices
No fake iPhones or other fake branded devices of any kind
No lost or stolen devices
No blocked devices
No fake iPhones or other fake branded devices of any kind
No spam or advertising
No abusive or offensive comments
No false claims
No items that are eligible for sale on our main site
It’s been over one year in development, but Mobilebase.com is finally live!
Mobilebase.com represents our promise to our customers to deliver one of the most secure marketplaces on the internet for the buying, selling and trading of cellphones of all kinds from Apple to Zynk (yes, such a brand really does exist!)
Our mission is to work with cell phone stores around the world who are keen to work with us and wish to enjoy the kind of exposure and customer base they simply cannot currently get from a more traditional bricks and mortar store.
There are currently over 2 billion mobile phones in use right now somewhere in the world, and one of them could be just the one you are looking for. Until now though, being able to find and buy a phone on a reliable, trusted website where the dealer has been carefully vetted and each deal verified has been no easy task.
We make sure everything runs smoothly. We have a team of ten dedicated mobile phone experts working 24/7 to review and monitor every single deal posted on our site so as to offer maximum protection to our customers, and to ensure prompt and efficient payment for our trusted dealers.
So whether you’re a webmaster or cell phone store owner, you should get in touch to find out more about our affiliate program and details on how you can make some serious money by trading your phones with us.
In addition to selling and trading phones we will be running a series of informative articles on our blog that will give you invaluable advice on important, relevant topics such as how to flip phones, which brands are hot, and which are not, what type of phone and processor you need to suit your lifestyle, information on roaming charges, apps and much more. We’ll be publishing something new and interesting every week.