The Vancouver Police Department, in partnership with the Metro Vancouver Transit Police and TransLink, are launching an awareness campaign to bring attention to mobile device theft.
Every day a mobile device is taken in a theft or a robbery. To a thief these devices and the information contained on them are as good as cash. In 2012, the Vancouver Police Department reported 215 incidents where a device was taken with some form of violence. Through today, the Vancouver Police have recorded 148 incidents in 2013. These statistics are in addition to a much larger number of thefts of devices that were left unattended in coffee shops, at the gym, in schools and vehicles. In that regard, police are asking phone users to change the way they think about their devices and to start treating them like cash.
The message is simple: If you don’t watch your phone, thieves will. Starting today, you will begin to see posters around the city, on the buses, bus shelters, trains and platforms. Within these posters users will have the ability to scan the Quick Response (QR) Code with their mobile device and link to the accompanying video. The videos will also be viewable at TransitPolice and TransLink websites.
International Mobile Equipment Identity Database
On September 30th, 2013, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) launched the International Mobile Equipment Identity Database (IMEI DB), which is a global central database containing basic information on the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of millions of mobile devices that are in use across the world’s mobile networks. The IMEI is a 15-digit number that is used to identify a wireless device when it is used on a mobile phone network.
As of September 30th, the authorization of any wireless device on any Canadian network will include verification that the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of the device has not been reported lost or stolen on any Canadian network, as well as some international networks. This device verification process, which will deny service to any device that is on the “blacklist,” is designed to help eliminate the black market for stolen devices. Customers are required to contact their service provider to report a lost or stolen phone to have their device deactivated. Once the device has been reported, the service provider can then add the device’s IMEI number to the blacklist. All instances of theft should be reported to local law enforcement as well.
You can obtain the IMEI number by entering *#06# on most devices. Alternatively, the IMEI number should also be on a white label found underneath the battery of your device. For more information on protecting your device and your data please visit www.protectyourdata.ca.