Tuesday, June 18, 2024

‘Patching’, New Business of Changing the IMEI Numbers of Stolen Phones Starts in Karachi

Karachi, Pakistan’s major trade hub, is facing a new problem where stolen mobile phones are being resold after a process called “patching.” This process changes the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number to prevent tracking, making it hard to trace the stolen phones.

The mafia involved in this illegal business sells these stolen phones at much lower prices, making it difficult for ordinary citizens to recognize the fraud. Only specific websites, the Citizens Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), or expert technicians can check or restore the original IMEI number of a patched phone.

This fraud is similar to tampering with the engine or chassis numbers of a stolen vehicle, but restoring the original IMEI number is relatively easy with software. The mafia has contacts within the police and government agencies, making it challenging to crackdown on this illegal trade.

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