IMEI number should be recorded while buying and selling it

Bought a gleaming new mobile phone recently? And is the joy of being able to drive a hard bargain on the exchange of your old phone (whose software had all but collapsed) multiplying your happiness?

Pause a while. Did you remember to keep a record of the IMEI number of the old phone that you left behind at the shop? Then you have reason to worry and to rush back to the outlet to make amends if the phone has not been disposed of already.

The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is the unique identity of a mobile phone set by the manufacturer and which distinguishes one set from another. This number, CID officials said, is like a phone’s fingerprint and should be recorded while buying a used set and while disposing it of too. Narrating a recent incident, the official said that last week they tracked down a 26-year-old woman in Howrah for making calls from a device, which they know, had been used for raising money from the public illegally.

The woman had no idea why sleuths of the State’s CID came knocking on her door in a congested locality in Howrah. Nagina (name changed), who works as a shop assistant was in knots when told that the police tracked her down based on her mobile phone records. Hundreds of people have been defrauded using the device that was now being used by Nagina, the police told her.

Even as she tried to impress upon the officials that she was not the original owner of the phone, she was asked to cooperate in the investigation and accompany the team as they tried to track down the original owner of the device.

“She was asked to cooperate in our investigations as we are trying to trace the man who ran a multi-level–marketing scheme (ponzi) and was now absconding,” a CID official told The Hindu.

He said that the scam was run by one Swapan Bhowmik and his son who spun a web of nearly 2,000 agents who garnered deposits. While both are absconding, an employee who has been arrested has given a lot information based on which the probe is being conducted.

However, CID officials said that unless the records of a phone sale are registered and preserved along with the IMEI number, the present phone owner would be held liable for the phone and could get into trouble.