The following article is a guide on how to arrange for network block records to be removed from a serial number. It is intended to assist CheckMEND users by providing you with step by step instructions on how to remove records that may be causing a ‘red flag’ result to appear on a CheckMEND certificate. This article assumes you are the rightful owner of the item of property and have a valid claim to ownership for it.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not get ‘unlocking’ confused with ‘unblocking’ a phone during the following steps. The two terms sound similar but are very different and should not be confused. Use terms such as 'removing a stolen report' or 'unblacklisting' to help reduce the chances of confusion.
Locked: A locked phone means it has just been restricted to only work on a specific phone network. This is done usually for contractual reasons. Locked phones do not show up in CheckMEND reports and you will never need to unlock a phone as a result of a CheckMEND report.
Blocked: A blocked phone has been added to a global blacklist for lost and stolen property and has been barred to prevent it from working across all phone networks. If the operator at the network you are speaking to start claiming you need to pay a fee to fix this, or that they need to make a physical change to the handset then they are confusing this with 'unlocking' a phone and you should correct them.
Step 1: You need to find out what network has put the block on your property. Even if you suspect you know what network it is we still strongly recommend that you first contact the CheckMEND support team so we can give you some specific information about it. See the Knowledgebase article HERE for further details on this.
Step 2: Don’t panic. We are fully aware that block records can become associated with mobile phone IMEI numbers for a variety of perfectly innocent reasons and no one here is accusing you of having committed any crimes. Please be aware that it is the responsibility of the blocking phone network to add or remove block records. This is not something we can assist them with directly.
Should you get stuck at any point in the following steps then you can find answers to the most common problems at the end of this article. If this does not help then you can still contact us again for advice. If you tell us what step you are on and what the problem you are having with it is then we will do all we can to help.
Step 3: The best way to deal with a block depends on the circumstances for it. Please read the below categories and decide which one best applies to you to find out what to do next. When speaking with the network keep the below questions in mind as these should help you to address any problems that may arise.
Category A) If you blocked the phone yourself
Simply contact the phone network that you reported the phone to as lost or stolen and request that they remove the block record from it. They may need your contract details, SIM number, or IMEI number to do this. If they claim the phone is not blocked then double-check that they are definitely looking at the right IMEI number. If you have switched your SIM card to a new phone then they may be checking the records for your new phones IMEI number, not the one you are enquiring about. If that does not help then refer to the answer to the question: The network claims the phone isn’t blocked. What do I do?
Category B) You did not block this phone but know who did
If you did not block the handset yourself then the network will not unblock it for you. If you know who blocked the phone or are in touch with its previous owner then we recommend you ask that person to contact the network and remove the block from it. If that doesn’t work then follow the instructions for category C.
Category C) You did not block this phone and have no idea why it is blocked
If you do not know who blocked the phone (or can’t get in touch with the person who did) then you should still try and contact the network yourself. The block may have been put there in error or the blocking records may not have been cleared properly by the network at some point in its past. If it is an invalid record for any reason then the network may end up telling you the block has already been removed or does not exist. In which case refer to the answer to the question: The network claims the phone isn’t blocked. What do I do?
Step 4: Once the network confirms that they are unblocking the phone then you should be aware that it will still usually take around 48 hours before all the records on all of the systems change. Most phone networks will claim that the block is removed instantly, however, this is only true for that specific network's local system. The block itself won't be removed immediately from the global system records.
After the 48 hours waiting period has passed we recommend you contact us again and we can take another look into the global block records for you in order to confirm if everything was cleared successfully by the network.
Questions and Answers
Every phone network has its own website with contact details on, so do a quick search in an internet search engine for the name of the phone network and you will usually find their website within the top few results.
You will likely find that there are a number of options for contacting them. The section you should look for is one dealing with contacting the networking concerning the reporting of the loss or theft of a handset.
The global IMEI database is a system provided by the GSMA and is sometimes also referred to as the IMEI DB, the SEIR or the CEIR. Part of the role of this database is to maintain a blacklist for the records of blocked and unblocked IMEI’s. This makes it possible for a block put in place by one network to then be shared across all the other networks. CheckMEND’s blocking data also comes directly from the global system.
Further information on the IMEI database can be found on the GSMA’s website on the following webpage: http://www.gsma.com/imei-database/
If they claim the phone is not blocked then first double-check that they are definitely looking at the right IMEI number. If you have switched your SIM card to a new phone then they may be checking the records for your new phones IMEI number, not the one you are enquiring about.
If that does not work then it may be a problem with the network's local records been out of sync with the global records. Phone networks are responsible for maintaining the block records on both their local system and on the global database. On rare occasions, something can go wrong between the blocking network and the global database making the two go out of sync. This results in the blocking network claiming a phone is unblocked and the global system claiming it is still blocked.
If the network tells you the phone is already unblocked or has never been blocked then it may be that your handset has this problem. CheckMEND does not manage the network's records or the GSMA’s global database, so we cannot directly help with this ourselves. In our experience however one trick to fixing this is to attempt to block the handset then unblock it again. To do this contact the phone network and ask them to block the phone. After they block it wait 24 hours for their systems to update the global system then contact the phone network again and ask them to unblock it. Wait another 24 hours and contact us again. We can then recheck the records to see if this has successfully resynched the two systems.