Canada’s Cellphone Blacklist Helped Reduce The Number of Stolen Devices in 2015


Canada’s cellphone blacklist has been making it really difficult for thieves to use stolen phones. The database of phone numbers prevents a stolen phone from accessing Canadian wireless networks, making the phone a really nice paper weight if its reported stolen.

The blacklist was created by Canadian wireless carriers in 2013 in an attempt to stop cellphone theft. Apparently the program is doing exactly what it was intended to do, as it is cutting into the business of thieves who are looking to sell stolen phones. Some thefts have reportedly called wireless companies trying to get the phone delisted. Vice president of communications for the Canadian Wireless and Telecommunications Association (CWTA) Mark Choma said:

“Sometimes we’ll hear just fantastic stories about how this particular smartphone came into their possession, and how can they get it off the blacklist? We ask them for the details and obviously there’s always something in those details that just doesn’t add up. They can always contact the carrier to discuss it, but the carrier has records of how, when, and you know why that device was added to the blacklist.”

Choma says that cellphone carriers have the entire history of the phone available to them, and if it doesn’t match up to what a caller says, then the phone stays blacklisted.

The CWTA reported that the number of lost and stolen phones in 2015 dropped to 120,031, 21,061 fewer than the year before. Choma believes that the drop is due to the blacklist, as well as the face that people are being more cautious with their devices.

If you are thinking about purchasing a used cellphone, you should check to see if it contains any record of a stolen cellphone.

[via CBC News]