Looted Smartphones from London Will be Blocked by Carriers

Did you score a sweet “free” smartphone during all the chaos in London? Well, tough luck — looks like retailers are one step ahead of you. Your phone won’t be good for anything other than a really awkward camera.

Blocking stolen phones from being connected to the network is surprisingly easy. All store owners need to do, is take inventory of what they’re missing from their stock. After that, they can sent the IMEI numbers of all missing smartphones to the carriers, which will prevent them from accessing the cell phone networks.

However, this can take up to 24 hours after the retailer has notified the carrier. Which means, unsuspecting people might already have purchased “cheap” smartphones off of eBay, without knowing that they’ll soon be bricked.

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