Its now big business for informal cellphone traders in Harare, who basically trade both stolen and second hand gadgets, with the then Ximex mall and Gulf complex being the major eye sore and hub for the dealers, virtually making it impossible to track down a stolen cellphone.
The mobile gadgets buy these cell phones from anything below half the price and sell them at profitable margins, making it one of the most thriving businesses in Harare which has got many youths hooked up on the streets.
However , when you lose your cell phone, chances are high that it would be displayed somewhere in these streets, but the probability of picking it up is close to zero due to the nature of trafficking and trading in this illicit market.
Much to the surprise of many, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) can assist you recover your network so long as the phone is still being used in Zimbabwe.
For those who may need to track one that may have crossed borders, there are many other ways of doing so but in this piece focus will be limited to tracking lost gadgets via Mobile Network Service Providers.
The only thing that you need to do to track your lost cellphone that was once active in the Zimbabwean network is to get a police report which then you should provide them with a serial number known as International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI) for accelerated processing.
If you do not have a serial number, well the truth is you can still be helped as all operators may need to do the extra process of checking your cellphone history against the device, a measure that may take them time and get you delayed yet still, you can get this serial number yourself if you were using an android based device.
Once you realize your device is gone, you’ll probably think about what sort of personal information is accessible via the device, what photos you had saved on it, and the cost of replacing them.
If you’ve already attempted to recover the device with the Android Device Manager (or your friend’s Android), then it’s time to contact the police and your wireless provider to report the situation.
This is number is unique to your hardware, and may allow the service provider to discontinue service to it, or blacklist it from their network if it was stolen, or even track all sim cards and areas or locations the network is being used from.
Here are the few steps that you need to do to find your IMEI without the phone in your hand, and please note this only for the popular android based devices.
Step1 : You are supposed to be logged into your gmail account which gives you access to all other Google based services.
Step 2: After you’re signed in, click the arrow next to Android. You will see all devices that have been attached to your Google account. Find your current phone and copy the IMEI number.
Once this is done you can submit it in your report and the police should assist to solve and track the phone.
In most cases, the phone will now be using a different Sim card and subtle investigation can lead the unsuspecting person to disclose his whereabouts before he confides where he or she got the gadget.
In the case that you have your gadget in simple steps and every Zimbabwean should start tracking their lost cellphones so that we discourage the market from selling stolen or lost property.
credit:digital society of zimbabwe