When buying phones, many people fall victim to scams where they sell a counterfeit device far from the one they actually paid for. Therefore, whether you are buying a new or used phone, whether online or offline, it is important to make sure that the device is original and not cloned or refurbished. The easiest way to verify the same is by using the device’s IMEI number. This article will explain how check a phone’s IMEI number to see if it is original or fake.
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Check the phone’s IMEI number to see if it is original or fake
An IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is a unique number used to identify a mobile network device. It has 15 digits and is assigned to all legitimate phones. An IMEI number is handy when buying a new or used phone – you can use it to verify the legitimacy of a phone.
Since many e-commerce sites have started selling refurbished or refurbished phones, the IMEI number can check other device details as well. Counterfeit models usually do not have an IMEI number or use a fake one.
So if you are there, if you are buying a used or second-hand smartphone from a local guy, or recently bought one from an e-commerce site, you can use the phone’s IMEI number. to find out if it is original, fake or cloned. . Read on.
1. Check the IMEI number on the phone
If you have the phone in person, you can check the IMEI number on the phone itself, by following the steps below.
- Open the dialer on the phone.
- Dial the code * # 06 #.
- You will now see a pop-up window with the IMEI and serial numbers of the phone.
- Take a screenshot or write it down.
Match the IMEI and serial number with those mentioned on the device box and invoice. If they don’t match, something’s wrong here. If you ordered the phone from an e-commerce site, try contacting them. In the meantime, you can proceed to check the IMEI number.
2. Check the IMEI number via IMEI.Info
Several third-party sites allow you to check IMEI details online. You can use the phone’s IMEI number on these sites to check and find if the phone is original, fake, or cloned.
- Open your browser and head to IMEI.info.
- Here enter your phone 15 digit IMEI number.
- Complete the captcha verification and click Check.
- It will show you the details of the phone including the model and model number of the phone. You’ll also see the model release date and specs.
- Additionally, you can use the site to check if the phone is blacklisted.
Carefully match the model name, number and specifications of the device listed on the site with the phone. If you see anything else your phone says, it is most likely a fake or counterfeit unit.
This is one of the easiest ways to find out if the phone is fake or original using the IMEI details. However, to be completely sure, you can further check the details on the phone manufacturer’s website.
3. Check the phone details on the manufacturer’s website
Almost all of the major smartphone companies allow you to find the phone’s warranty, activation date, and other information by the IMEI or the phone’s serial number. You can check whether the phone is genuine or not and check whether it is a refurbished device.
So, go to the warranty check page on the manufacturer’s website (links below) and enter your IMEI number or serial number. Here you can see how much warranty is left and when the phone was activated. Even if it doesn’t show the activation date, you can get an idea from the remaining warranty details.
If you’ve purchased a brand new device but the manufacturer’s website says it has already been activated in the past, it is likely a used or refurbished device.
Tip – Know if your phone is refurbished (iPhone only)
On the iPhone, the first letter of the model number defines whether the iPhone was purchased new, refurbished, sold as a custom device, or if it is a replacement unit. By using it, you can check whether the iPhone is a new retail unit or a refurbished unit.
Open Settings on the iPhone. Click on General >About. Here check the Model number and if its first letter matches one of the descriptions below:
- M: Retail unit, purchased new from Apple.
- F: Refurbished by Apple or a carrier.
- P: Custom unit (engraved).
- NOT: A replacement device for a defective iPhone.
Note that having a model number starting with M does not necessarily guarantee that the iPhone has never been repaired or refurbished. It may still have been repaired by unauthorized service providers.
Conclusion – Use IMEI to check if the phone is original or fake
This involved checking the phone’s IMEI number to see if the phone is original or fake. Of course, do not completely trust the IMEI number since it can be cloned, the same IMEI can be used on multiple phones.
So, follow the other checks including appearance, software, features and functionality of the phone. Always buy phones from legitimate sources. Also, collect the invoice and ID if you are buying from a local seller or marketplaces like OLX and Quickr.
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