Loosing your moko

Alexey Feldgendler alexey at feldgendler.ru
Fri Apr 4 12:43:27 CEST 2008

On Fri, 04 Apr 2008 07:35:17 +0200, Michele Renda  
<michele.renda at gmail.com> wrote:

> When I steal the phone, the first thing that I will do is to turn off  
> the phone. Then because I am afraid to be detected by cell I will change  
> the internal sim, before to turn on it.

This is also what happens in Russia. The majority of cell phones are  
stolen or robbed of people by junkies. They immediately turn the phone off  
and throw away the SIM card. Without turning the phone on, they bring  
several phones they've collected during the night to a buyer-up who pays  
them maybe a tenth of what the phone is worth, and that's enough for them  
to get their needle.

The bulk of stolen phones then goes to some phone repair workshops who run  
an underground business of preparing them to be sold. They reflash the  
phone or reset it to a clean state because nobody wants to sell a phone  
with someone's data on it that would be crying out loud “I'm a stolen  
phone”. They also unlock it if it's locked to an operator, and change the  
IMEI in those models where it's possible. The next stop for a stolen phone  
is a second hand mobile phone shop whose owner allegedly has no idea that  
the phones that strange people bring, a whole box of them at a time, are  
in fact stolen.

Because rampant mobile phone theft brings them to the second hand market  
where they are priced for less than half of what they're worth, it makes  
them affordable to people who would otherwise not be able to buy a phone.  
Of course, this happens at the expense of those people from whom the  
phones are stolen, and who usually buy themselves a new one. Because of  
this situation, the cell operators in Russia are reluctant to use the IMEI  
(which is often impossible to change) to track down or at least deny  
service to phones reported as stolen -- that would shrink their own market.

Alexey Feldgendler <alexey at feldgendler.ru>
[ICQ: 115226275] http://feldgendler.livejournal.com

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