Changing the IMEI number is problematic in most countries as it can easily conflict with the law. It is the equivalent of changing the chassis number of your car. If they catch you doing this, in some places you can even go to the chair.
With older phones it was easier than with new phones because the new handsets have better security and also programmable chips that only accept the IMEI once. As you can read in some forums, some people change the motherboards of the phones rather than the IMEI programming chips. To change IMEI you also need professional equipment and a great deal of knowledge.
What is IMEI for?
As we said, the IMEI is the identification of your device. It is a unique number for each device manufactured, and that guarantees its origin and that it was not stolen, modified or falsified. Basically, it is the fingerprint of your mobile device, since the IMEI is registered in every mobile operator that you use and normally, can only have access to the mobile networks if it exists.
Why change the IMEI?
There are different reasons for the change in IMEI:
- To delete clues on the stolen or lost phone (this is more used, completely illegal);
- To clear clues about the phone manufacturer and model;
- For research;
- Maintenance (not always);
- Motherboard replacement (not always);
- Other reasons.
How can manufacturers prevent IMEI from changing?
There is currently no 100% security to ensure that your IMEI number will not be modified. Manufacturers can do their best but you can still change the chip and reprogram it if you have the same knowledge as the manufacturers’ employees. What they do is keep an international record of stolen IMEIs, which helps in preventing your stolen phone from being used on a mobile network again. Even so, you have to report the theft to your carrier and your IMEI number so that they block the use of your device.
When can the IMEI change?
In addition to the illegal means to change the IMEI, one of the situations in which the IMEI can change is during a maintenance where there was damage on the chip in which the IMEI is registered or on the motherboard of the device. However, it is not always the case that the IMEI is changed. In some guarantees, the IMEI number can be rewritten on the new card or chip, retaining its original number. That is, your IMEI will be maintained or you will have a new IMEI.
Can duplicate IMEIs exist?
By legal means, this is very difficult to happen. Now, by illegal means, this can happen and the number of cell phone clones has increased. In addition, unauthorized maintenance can modify your IMEI or use it for other purposes, either by intentions or carelessness in setting up the repaired appliance (Example: Using a used motherboard from a device that has IMEI rewritten). Do not forget that xing-lings can also have “problematic” IMEIs and soon those numbers will be blocked. It is always necessary to have the invoice of your device and all original type of guarantee for any problem that may occur regarding the IMEI.