It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to pick up a gently used Apple iPhone, a Samsung Galaxy, or a Google Pixel smartphone — you’ll want to make sure the device hasn’t been reported as lost or stolen before you part with your hard-earned money. Some marketplaces allow sellers to list phones for sale, without checking the IMEI, which opens the potential for someone to sell you a “blocklisted” phone.
What is an IMEI number?
Every smartphone has an IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. No two devices will ever have the same IMEI, and wireless carriers use the IMEI to identify devices on their network. Since an IMEI number is permanently tied to a device, carriers also use this number to blocklist a device that’s been reported lost or stolen, which prevents it from being activated on their network. Being able to blocklist an IMEI is a great way to prevent the activation of a stolen smartphone, but it doesn’t always stop people from trying to sell a blocklisted smartphone to an unsuspecting buyer.
Read More: Swappa, as part of our listing review process, checks the IMEI of a device before approving a listing for sale in our marketplace.
How do I find my phone’s IMEI?
There are plenty of reasons why you might need to locate an IMEI number on your smartphone, but one of the most important reasons is when you are buying a used phone from someone. Here’s how you can find a phone’s IMEI number in case you’d like to check its status using Swappa’s free IMEI checker.
How to find IMEI on iPhone
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone and then navigate to General and tap About, and then scroll down until you see IMEI.
How to find IMEI on Samsung
- Open the Settings app on your Samsung Galaxy smartphone and then tap About phone.
How to find IMEI on Android (Google Pixel)
- Open the Settings app on your Google Pixel and then tap About phone, and then scroll down until you see IMEI.
Check your phone’s IMEI for free on Swappa
Now that you’ve successfully located your phone’s IMEI, you can easily punch those numbers into Swappa’s free IMEI checker by tapping the green button below. You’ll want to be looking for the IMEI check to return an “allowlist” result, which means the IMEI isn’t on a global blocklist — and more importantly — that it can be activated and used.