POST Online Media Lite Edition


Cell phone blacklist and fraud epidemic rising in Canada

Staff Writer |
Cell Clinic, a cell phone service centre in Vancouver and Surrey, BC, is witnessing an alarming increase in the number of individuals falling victim to fraudsters.

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They are selling used cell phones that are blacklisted before or shortly after a sale – disabling a phone's ability to pick up cellular service in Canada.

Many sellers of used cell phones are submitting fraudulent insurance claims to telecommunications companies by reporting a cell phone lost/stolen after a sale.

In other situations, individuals are being sold stolen cell phones, or mobile devices that get blacklisted by a telecommunications company due to unpaid bills.

Prior to a buy, consumers can test if the phone picks cellular service, or go online / contact a telecommunications company to determine if a phone is blacklisted, but that's little help when a mobile device is blacklisted after a sale.

Fraudsters are benefiting financially by targeting individuals that can least afford to buy a new phone, lose $300-$500 on the purchase of a blacklisted cell phone, or purchase a "discounted" phone when entering into a contract with a telecommunications company that results in high monthly cell phone bills.

The Cell Clinic is advocating for individuals by shining a spotlight on this issue and providing tips to help safeguard consumers purchasing used cell phones.

In order to offer consumers an opportunity to purchase low-cost used smart phones from a trusted source, with up to a six-month warranty, the Cell Clinic has excelled its used phone buy/sell program and is accepting all the risks associated with buying used cell phones.

The Cell Clinic is calling on telecommunications companies to stand up against fraudsters by implementing a process for consumers to report when a used phone they purchased has been blacklisted.

Ideally a consumer will obtain the name, address and mobile phone number of the person that sells them a used phone.

This information can be given to a telecommunications company, along with the IMEI number of the phone so they have an opportunity to address fraudulent insurance claims, and in time, perhaps help deter further fraudulent claims, which are supporting criminal activity.

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