Here’s a surprising fact for you: Thousands of fake Android smartphones (be it GSM or CDMA-based) with invalid IMEI numbers are sold in the market. And people, some like you, lose money by getting these phones. Let me explain.
If you have purchased a brand new Android phone from a local store and you have found out the phone displays an “Invalid IMEI” error then you have just got yourself into a problem.
Invalid IMEI Number: Problems And More Problems
Everyday hundreds of sellers are selling smartphones with a fake IMEI number, most do it to make money while others do it unknowingly. See this: Fake and Cheap Phones Sold In China Market. So if you have an Android phone with invalid IMEI, you can assume that:
- The Android phone is fake and you were duped.
- The Android phone is stolen.
Using sophisticated IMEI changing softwares, a stolen phone’s IMEI number can be changed. And if that doesn’t work (because there are many fake IMEI tracking softwares), then there’s a good chance the phone has been corrupted — hence the invalid IMEI issue.
There are few more legitimate reasons for a phone to throw invalid IMEI error message. One of our reader tipped us that they bought an Android Samsung Galaxy phone for their son from Thailand. As they came back home, in the US, they realized the phone doesn’t work anymore throwing an “invalid IMEI“ error.
Was the IMEI number fake? Maybe. Or…
The phone didn’t work was because it was locked down to a carrier. In other words, the Android phone was not unlocked or whitelisted by the carrier.
Fixing IMEI Number Right Now!
But the most important question should be how to get rid of this problem? If you have Android phone that is rooted, you can use several IMEI changing softwares available on forums like XDA.
Make sure you don’t end up trying to experiment. Use such tools only if you are familiar with it, or under someone who knows what they are doing.
It’s important to be careful and backup your phone’s data.
The error may also occur due to SIM card. You might want to check with your carrier and make sure the phone is unlocked.
Locked iPhones can be whitelisted using online websites that charge anywhere between $3 to $20 for unlocking AT&T, Sprint and many international carrier network phones. More on this later (contact me for more details).
You might also want to read this article on how to legally repair and fix IMEI number for more insights.
You see, there are many “reasons” why invalid IMEI number message is displayed on your phone. What you have to do is to find the exact problem and then the solution.