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Is Changing IMEI Illegal In US? – 7 Things to Know

By TechniqueHow Team

✎ Key Takes:

1. It’s important to note that changing the IMEI of a mobile device is illegal in the USA, as per the country’s laws.

2. Also, use channels and resources if you experience issues with your device rather than attempting to change the IMEI.

If you find yourself facing issues with your device, it’s recommended to contact the device manufacturer or the official service provider for assistance, ensuring a legal and proper resolution.

Change IMEI Number

Is Changing IMEI Illegal In the USA?

IMEI is a unique 15-digit number, that has been given to each mobile device. If someone knowingly tampers with the IMEI number, he is found guilty, resulting in lawful action.

  • You should know that changing IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is illegal in the USA.
  • IMEI is a unique identifier of a mobile device and altering it is considered an act of fraud.
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prohibits the alteration of IMEI numbers.
  • As changing IMEI numbers can be used for illegal activities such as bypassing carrier restrictions, circumventing anti-theft measures, and committing identity theft.
  • In the USA, altering an IMEI number is punishable by fines.
  • In addition to being illegal, changing an IMEI number can also cause the mobile device to malfunction or become permanently blocked by the carrier.
  • Mobile device manufacturers, carriers, and law enforcement agencies have systems in place to detect and prevent the alteration of IMEI numbers.

The government has taken this important step to stop the incidents of mobile theft. The move will make tracking lost handsets easier and will also help limit issues related to fake IMEI numbers. It is completely illegal, if anyone intentionally changes, deletes, alters, or destroys the IMEI number.

A new rule called “Prevention of tampering of Mobile Device Equipment Identification Number” indicates that any person has been found guilty if he has intentionally tampered with or altered the unique number.

This new rule has made it easier for the police and any other security agency to track the mobile phone when a thief or someone changes the IMEI number.

🛑 Disadvantages of Changing IMEI Number:

There are some major disadvantages of changing the IMEI number on the Android Device:

◘ Changing the IMEI number has a major impact on the warranty period. Changing the IMEI will invalidate the warranty. This way you never claim a warranty from your device manufacturers.

◘ Changing IMEI is a daunting task, if something goes wrong, you just destroyed your smartphone. In worse cases, the virus will take effect.

◘ In addition, if you don’t perform the procedure properly, your new unique number doesn’t work. Moreover, your handset won’t be able to access GSM.

As mentioned, it is illegal in many countries, which can put you in legal trouble if changed intentionally to harm someone or unlawfully. It is a punishable offense, so you need to be even more careful when it comes to changing the IMEI number.

◘ IMEI is the identification number of a particular device. If you don’t own a specific tool and get caught red-handed, you will be in trouble.

Can you Switch IMEI between the SIM Slots?

Choosing a Dual SIM phone lets you switch IMEIs between SIM slots because Dual SIM phones have IMEI numbers, one for each SIM. That means, that a single phone with a dual SIM slot can be connected to two different networks at once. Anytime a network may be out of range and seamlessly switch to another.

In simple words, each SIM slot has a different identification as they have known through their ID. To know the IMEI number, you can find it in a box in which it was packed. You must have a registered IMEI number to switch IMEI between SIM slots. That number will show that the phone is yours; you are the owner of it.

Otherwise, as mentioned above, it is always a crime because your attention is illegal or against the law. It can only be used by an official party, including the phone’s manufacturer, phone transporter, police, or security agency, to locate a specific device.

If you belong to any of the mentioned categories then you have every right to tamper with the specific number if your intention is clear and not illegal. As soon as you are beyond this category, you may face legal action.

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