Should I give my IMEI number to a buyer?

31
Posted 5th Nov
Hi. I'm selling my old Samsung s8 on gumtree and after a little negotiation, someone has offered to buy it. They're asked for the imei number first though. Is this safe to give out?
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Always going to be a risk:
channelreply.com/blo…nce

I certainly wouldn't entertain it with a "Gumtree" sale. Would they be collecting the phone or are you supposedly sending it to them if they decided to purchase?
You could always ask the buyer what they intend to do with the information prior to transferring funds to you.
Phsycronix05/11/2019 11:23

Always going to be a …Always going to be a risk:https://www.channelreply.com/blog/view/ebay-buyer-wants-numbers-financeI certainly wouldn't entertain it with a "Gumtree" sale. Would they be collecting the phone or are you supposedly sending it to them if they decided to purchase?


It's be a cash on collection sale. Price agreed but he's asking for the IMEI number first. I've never been asked for it before. Did a little bit of google research, people say they use it to check if the phone is stolen. Just wondering whether any HUKDers have encountered this at all.
porradude05/11/2019 11:27

It's be a cash on collection sale. Price agreed but he's asking for the …It's be a cash on collection sale. Price agreed but he's asking for the IMEI number first. I've never been asked for it before. Did a little bit of google research, people say they use it to check if the phone is stolen. Just wondering whether any HUKDers have encountered this at all.


He wants to check if it’s nicked.
StonkwellBogtrotter05/11/2019 11:30

He wants to check if it’s nicked.


Thanks. Makes sense but is there any risk to me at all if I do give it to him?
porradude05/11/2019 11:27

It's be a cash on collection sale. Price agreed but he's asking for the …It's be a cash on collection sale. Price agreed but he's asking for the IMEI number first. I've never been asked for it before. Did a little bit of google research, people say they use it to check if the phone is stolen. Just wondering whether any HUKDers have encountered this at all.



If it's COC, then the seller has nothing to worry about as you can demonstrate the full functionality of the phone to them. Lets face it - if you really wanted to, you could wait till they leave and still block the phone or report it stolen so the IMEI won't do them any good from that aspect.

It's just one of those situations where you have to make a judgement call. You either take the risk - and everything will be fine. Or, you politely refuse; stating the exact same security concern; and potentially alienate the buyer and lose the sale - or they will understand and be fine with your decision.

Hence: Risk.
No,no and thrice no .
Phsycronix05/11/2019 11:35

If it's COC, then the seller has nothing to worry about as you can …If it's COC, then the seller has nothing to worry about as you can demonstrate the full functionality of the phone to them. Lets face it - if you really wanted to, you could wait till they leave and still block the phone or report it stolen so the IMEI won't do them any good from that aspect.It's just one of those situations where you have to make a judgement call. You either take the risk - and everything will be fine. Or, you politely refuse; stating the exact same security concern; and potentially alienate the buyer and lose the sale - or they will understand and be fine with your decision.Hence: Risk.


Thanks, that makes sense.

Does anyone know what the actual risk would be to give out the IMEI number? Like, what could he do with it apart from checking whether it's stolen.
porradude05/11/2019 11:39

Thanks, that makes sense.Does anyone know what the actual risk would be to …Thanks, that makes sense.Does anyone know what the actual risk would be to give out the IMEI number? Like, what could he do with it apart from checking whether it's stolen.



Some collect up IMEI numbers and can then clone a phone to 'become' your phone. That's one of the main reasons. Of course, this can happen whilst you still have the phone - or after you sell it to the next poor, unsuspecting soul! You can read a bit more about it if you like on the link I provided.
I would just be perfectly honest and explain that you understand their concern but you are not prepared to take the risk. If it loses you the sale - so be it. The next person might not be so 'cautious' and buy it - no questions asked.

Or, maybe you ARE prepared to take a risk (as you need the money) so trust them and give them the info they want.

Your decision, I'm afraid.
I always listed my phones on eBay with the imie .

Nothing as ever happened
ashmac05/11/2019 12:05

I always listed my phones on eBay with the imie .Nothing as ever happened



Nothing probably would with an "IMIE"

Sorry. Couldn't resist that one.
ashmac05/11/2019 12:05

I always listed my phones on eBay with the imie .Nothing as ever happened


Oh, right, that's good to know
porradude05/11/2019 11:39

Thanks, that makes sense.Does anyone know what the actual risk would be to …Thanks, that makes sense.Does anyone know what the actual risk would be to give out the IMEI number? Like, what could he do with it apart from checking whether it's stolen.



They may have the same model as yours, but stolen/blocked. They take your imei number and "flash" that on to their phone. Then they sell the phone as working.

Read posts by Phsycronix above
Phsycronix05/11/2019 11:51

I would just be perfectly honest and explain that you understand their …I would just be perfectly honest and explain that you understand their concern but you are not prepared to take the risk. If it loses you the sale - so be it. The next person might not be so 'cautious' and buy it - no questions asked.Or, maybe you ARE prepared to take a risk (as you need the money) so trust them and give them the info they want.Your decision, I'm afraid.


Thanks, I've sent a message asking why he needs it so lets see what he says.
porradude05/11/2019 12:13

Thanks, I've sent a message asking why he needs it so lets see what he …Thanks, I've sent a message asking why he needs it so lets see what he says.



The thing with that is (and no disrespect to fanpages) they aren't likely to say "Well, I was just going to use it to do something naughty" are they? I think you'll get the standard, expected reply stating they want to check if it's blocked/stolen. In which case, you're no further forward, are you?

It's still a matter of trust. If you feel their reply is trustworthy then, good for you. However, I'm pretty sure there isn't one "dodgy" person out there that hasn't told someone WHATEVER they want to hear to get the result they need.

I don't wish to cement even more doubt in your mind but I fear it is unavoidable. For that, I apologise.
Phsycronix05/11/2019 12:31

The thing with that is (and no disrespect to fanpages) they aren't likely …The thing with that is (and no disrespect to fanpages) they aren't likely to say "Well, I was just going to use it to do something naughty" are they? I think you'll get the standard, expected reply stating they want to check if it's blocked/stolen. In which case, you're no further forward, are you?It's still a matter of trust. If you feel their reply is trustworthy then, good for you. However, I'm pretty sure there isn't one "dodgy" person out there that hasn't told someone WHATEVER they want to hear to get the result they need.I don't wish to cement even more doubt in your mind but I fear it is unavoidable. For that, I apologise.


Yes, I get what you're saying. I'm expecting that reply but that's also why I asked. I'm not going to give it to him. As it's a COC sale, that's the opportunity for him to check it's working properly. I'm not comfortable with it so he can take it or leave it.

Gumtree seems to be a con artists paradise now as it is so I'd prefer not to take a chance. I've already had to report a user as they wanted me to post it to them after paying by paypal. I sent a money request and they then sent a fake paypal email saying that the money was in an escrow account until I provided proof of postage. I can see how people can get conned in this way.
porradude05/11/2019 12:45

Yes, I get what you're saying. I'm expecting that reply but that's also …Yes, I get what you're saying. I'm expecting that reply but that's also why I asked. I'm not going to give it to him. As it's a COC sale, that's the opportunity for him to check it's working properly. I'm not comfortable with it so he can take it or leave it. Gumtree seems to be a con artists paradise now as it is so I'd prefer not to take a chance. I've already had to report a user as they wanted me to post it to them after paying by paypal. I sent a money request and they then sent a fake paypal email saying that the money was in an escrow account until I provided proof of postage. I can see how people can get conned in this way.



I'm pleased to hear you are aware and cautious. You're completely correct about an increase in scammers activities. It has become FAR too easy now with social networking as well as Ebay/Gumtree. I still prefer to sell via Gumtree over Ebay as you still have a bit of control over the transaction - but only face to face and cash in my greasy paw!

I hate to keep reading of HUKD members woes surrounding buying and selling. It's so disheartening. I hope you can get a satisfactory conclusion to your endeavour though, porradude.

All the best, Phsy.
If it is to check if its blacklisted , i would recomend paying for the chekmend report yourself and then blanking out part of the IMEI and showing him that I cannot think of any rational reason why they would want the IMEI number for anything other than that.
Hi i know this is of topic
i have a question?
I wanted to know if I sell my phone to carphone warehouse do I need to keep IMEI number just incase. What if I don't keep any details, is that going to be a problem
It’s no risk he can’t do anything with an imei number apart from check if it’s stolen oh and he could pay to unlock it but he can’t do anything bad
I sold an iPhone 6 few months ago, some bloke wanted the same so gave him it. He bought it half an hour later, reason was just to check if the phone was blacklisted.
The other week I sold two Samsung j3's and an s8 Edge nobody bothered to ask about them
toonsquirel05/11/2019 13:59

It’s no risk he can’t do anything with an imei number apart from check if i …It’s no risk he can’t do anything with an imei number apart from check if it’s stolen oh and he could pay to unlock it but he can’t do anything bad


Are you the buyer by any chance? Why are you ignoring the research linked above?
Toon_army05/11/2019 14:38

I sold an iPhone 6 few months ago, some bloke wanted the same so gave him …I sold an iPhone 6 few months ago, some bloke wanted the same so gave him it. He bought it half an hour later, reason was just to check if the phone was blacklisted.The other week I sold two Samsung j3's and an s8 Edge nobody bothered to ask about them


Not everyone is a scam artist, but one must always be cautious, that's why we have to look both ways when we cross a street, and still look even though there is a green man on pedestrian crossings.


OP, I'm assuming the buyer is local and that is why they are happy to pay COC. If they truly need it to check if it's stolen then they can easily check if that in your presence.
MadeDixonsCry05/11/2019 15:18

Are you the buyer by any chance? Why are you ignoring the research linked …Are you the buyer by any chance? Why are you ignoring the research linked above?Not everyone is a scam artist, but one must always be cautious, that's why we have to look both ways when we cross a street, and still look even though there is a green man on pedestrian crossings.OP, I'm assuming the buyer is local and that is why they are happy to pay COC. If they truly need it to check if it's stolen then they can easily check if that in your presence.


I bet no one here has ever known anyone give out an imei number and it turns out to be a hacker with high skills to hack into that phone, even if this is somehow some top class hacker which I virtually guarantee it isn’t, all they can do is hack into a phone potentially that’s not even been used by the op as he’s selling it. You sound like that guy sitting in his basement with a tin foil hat on just in case. By the way you can potentially hack into a phone with the imei number or the telephone number so giving your phone number out is equally as risky as giving out the imei and no normal person is worried about giving a phone number out just in case it’s some hacker.
toonsquirel05/11/2019 15:36

I bet no one here has ever known anyone give out an imei number and it …I bet no one here has ever known anyone give out an imei number and it turns out to be a hacker with high skills to hack into that phone, even if this is somehow some top class hacker which I virtually guarantee it isn’t, all they can do is hack into a phone potentially that’s not even been used by the op as he’s selling it. You sound like that guy sitting in his basement with a tin foil hat on just in case. By the way you can potentially hack into a phone with the imei number or the telephone number so giving your phone number out is equally as risky as giving out the imei and no normal person is worried about giving a phone number out just in case it’s some hacker.


I'm not talking about hacking into OP's phone, I'm talking about illegally overwriting the IMEI to re-enable a blocked phone. It's not high tech. It's actually quite easy to do.
MadeDixonsCry05/11/2019 15:38

I'm not talking about hacking into OP's phone, I'm talking about illegally …I'm not talking about hacking into OP's phone, I'm talking about illegally overwriting the IMEI to re-enable a blocked phone. It's not high tech. It's actually quite easy to do.


Yeah well if they wanted to do that it doesn’t effect op his phone won’t be affected. Also if someone wanted to do this they could just as easily buy the phone copy the imei then sel it or go into a shop and view a phone and take note of imei, or even meet op run a check on imei and then not buy phone. The risk is so small it’s not worth worrying about, even 20 years ago there was phones with copied imei numbers and the person with genuine phone is totally fine it’s the cloned imei phone that’s running the risk.
toonsquirel05/11/2019 15:43

the person with genuine phone is totally fine it’s the cloned imei phone t …the person with genuine phone is totally fine it’s the cloned imei phone that’s running the risk.


I did not know this.

If this is true then yes, by all means give it to the buyer.

Thanks for the education.
Thanks for all the advice, guys. I've decided not to go ahead with the sale. Not only because of the IMEi request but just a feeling of discomfort for this particular sale.
porradude06/11/2019 08:13

Thanks for all the advice, guys. I've decided not to go ahead with the …Thanks for all the advice, guys. I've decided not to go ahead with the sale. Not only because of the IMEi request but just a feeling of discomfort for this particular sale.



Well, if you can't go with your gut instinct - what can you go with eh? I don't blame you. I take it they came back to you with the reply we thought they would? How did you turn them down?

Not to worry. I'm sure you'll be successful. By the way, have you checked out the prices on CEX? I don't know what you were selling your phone for but they seem reasonably good prices they offer. I know you could get more selling privately but at least it would be less hassle? Just a thought...

Regards, Phsy.
Phsycronix06/11/2019 18:39

Well, if you can't go with your gut instinct - what can you go with eh? I …Well, if you can't go with your gut instinct - what can you go with eh? I don't blame you. I take it they came back to you with the reply we thought they would? How did you turn them down?Not to worry. I'm sure you'll be successful. By the way, have you checked out the prices on CEX? I don't know what you were selling your phone for but they seem reasonably good prices they offer. I know you could get more selling privately but at least it would be less hassle? Just a thought...Regards, Phsy.


They said exactly what we thought and I just said that it wasn't for sale anymore. He didn't reply.

I've literally just sold it actually to another person who contacted me on gumtree. Really easy, trusting and didnt ask me for the imei number. Probably the easiest sale I've had and I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. My faith in gumtree is restored, haha.

Thanks for all your advice!
porradude06/11/2019 18:50

They said exactly what we thought and I just said that it wasn't for sale …They said exactly what we thought and I just said that it wasn't for sale anymore. He didn't reply. I've literally just sold it actually to another person who contacted me on gumtree. Really easy, trusting and didnt ask me for the imei number. Probably the easiest sale I've had and I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. My faith in gumtree is restored, haha.Thanks for all your advice!



Well, there you go! That's the best news I've heard today. Really chuffed for you and thanks for coming back to let us know. I love a good ending.
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