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Mobile Networks Blocking Phones Looted in London, Birmingham and Manchester Riots

UK mobile networks are vowing to block and blacklist the IMEI numbers associated with any phones stolen during the London, Birmingham and Manchester Rioting from the last few days.

We strongly advise UK residents to steer well clear of buying mobile phones and gadgets online for the next week or two, as items looted from stores during the riots are appearing thick and fast on sites such as eBay and craigslist, with mobile networks promising to blacklist the smartphones so they can’t be used.

We don’t want the law abiding citizens out there to think they’ve got a bargain and end up with a dud smartphone and very much out of pocket!

The picture above is taken from a listing on the London craigslist website where an anonymous seller has no fewer than FORTY new and sealed 16GB iPhone 4s on the O2 network for sale. Just how anybody legally comes across this number of sealed iPhones is very much questionable – and judging by the £180 discount from the RRP that this seller is offering, it’s pretty obvious these weren’t obtained by legal means.

Mobile phone retailers in the cities hit by riots are reporting the serial and IMEI numbers of their stolen stock to UK networks so that they can be added to a blacklist. Within 24 hours the phone will be blocked from use on its designated network, and within 48 hours you won’t be able to use a stolen phone on any mobile network, with any SIM card.

Be wary of buying second hand or new gadgets from sites such as eBay over the next week, and remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Blackberry Messenger has been blamed for its use in organising rioting and looting over the past few days, read more about how social media has influenced the riots, for better and for worse here.

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