A five-month investigation by Meerut Police’s cybercrime cell unit uncovered a security breach in which more than 13,500 Vivo manufactured phones were found to run on the same International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.
The inquiry started after a sub-inspector replaced his Vivo smartphone at a service center in Delhi, and found that the device’s IMEI number is different from what is written on the package. Meerut Police’s cyber-cell unit was then tasked with the investigation.
Networks rely on IMEI mobile numbers to prevent stolen devices from accessing the network, and to distinguish legitimate and authentic devices. Uttar Pradesh police in Meerut, however, have discovered that more than 13,500 smartphones are operating on the same IMEI numbers in India , making them harder to track.
Additionally, there have been reports that criminals can flash a device to change a device’s IMEI and use it for crimes or sell it in the black market as flashing makes it impossible to track the device.
Several YouTube videos also say you might be able to change your phone’s IMEI even though these are not confirmed. Whatever it is, it is an offense to tamper with the IMEI number, and is punishable by law. On doing so one can get up to three years in prison.
With that said, under section 91 of the CrPC i.e., the respective authorities sent a formal notice to nodal officer Harmanjit Singh of Vivo India. Criminal Procedure Code. Vivo hasn’t spoken on the matter as of now but we expect to hear from the company soon.
Make sure to ensure the IMEI number on your handset fits with the one written on the box and invoice if you purchased a new phone or got it after repairs. Open a dialer and click * # 06 # to reach IMEI numbers on any phone.