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How Police Trace Cell Phone Location by Mobile Number or IMEI number


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Losing a mobile phone can be a distressing experience, but with the help of modern technology and the collaboration between law enforcement and mobile service providers, the police have the capability to trace phone locations using unique identifiers like the IMEI number.

In this article, we’ll delve into the process of how police trace phone location by using the IMEI number and track lost or stolen mobile phones, ensuring a higher chance of recovery.

Police Cell Phone Tracking: The Power of IMEI

Losing your mobile phone often prompts immediate actions, and one of the first steps is to file a report with the police. But how exactly do the police go about tracing the whereabouts of a missing phone?

The answer lies in the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, a unique identifier assigned to each mobile device.

Understanding the IMEI Tracker Process

The IMEI number can be easily accessed by dialing *#06# on your mobile phone’s dial-pad.

This unique number plays a crucial role in tracking lost mobile devices. When a mobile phone is switched on, the IMEI number is transmitted to the Equipment Identity Register (EIR) database.

The IMEI numbers are categorized into three groups: white listed, grey listed, and black listed. Mobile service providers have the ability to blacklist a mobile phone by associating its IMEI number. Once blacklisted, the phone becomes unusable as it cannot connect to any cellular network.

Furthermore, service providers can also use the IMEI number to trace a mobile phone’s location through GPS, aiding in the recovery of lost or stolen devices.

It’s important to note that when contacting your service provider to block your mobile phone using the IMEI number, you should request the SIM card to be blocked as well.

Key Considerations for Mobile Phone Tracking

Several factors come into play when tracing a mobile phone’s location:

  1. Switched-On Mode: To successfully trace a mobile phone, it must be in a switched-on mode. If the phone is powered off, the last known location can still be determined.
  2. Call Tracking Process:
    • Step 1: Calls made and received are recorded by service providers. Mobile phones register with nearby cell towers, a process known as “triangulation,” which assists in determining the phone’s location based on factors like signal strength and tower capacity.
    • Step 2: Police officers contact service providers to access call details. The IMEI number, call duration, caller information, phone number, and area code are recorded and shared by service providers.

Challenges and Scenarios

However, certain scenarios present challenges to call tracking:

  • Scenario 1: Lost or Stolen Phone: If a phone is lost or stolen and the SIM card is replaced, tracking by phone number becomes ineffective. In such cases, the police rely on the IMEI number for tracing using the previously mentioned steps.
  • Scenario 2: Phone is Off: When a mobile phone is turned off, no information is transmitted. In this scenario, police can access call history up until the phone was powered off.

Leveraging Technology for Recovery

Modern technology and the collaboration between police departments and mobile service providers have made it possible to track cell phone locations using the IMEI number. While challenges exist, such as changing IMEI numbers, the utilization of this unique identifier significantly increases the chances of recovering lost or stolen phones.

By understanding the IMEI tracker process, users can better appreciate the efforts made to safeguard their valuable mobile devices.

Side Hustles in Pone Tracking!

Now you know how your phone gets tracked? Well, it’s all thanks to those cell networks we rely on every day. When you turn on your phone, it talks to nearby cell towers to get connected. They swap data, like your phone’s special ID called IMEI, which helps tell your phone apart from others.

But here’s where it gets interesting. While cops tracking phones can help find them, it also raises questions about privacy and rules. Different places have their own laws about when and how the police can get this tracking data. It’s like a balance between keeping us safe and making sure our privacy is respected.

Making phone tracking work isn’t a one-person job. Cops and the companies that give us cell service need to work together closely. These companies have info about which cell towers your phone has used, and that’s like a treasure map to find where a phone is. Teamwork here is super important to get things right.

Imagine if a phone needed to be found across countries. Things get a bit tricky then. Each country has its own rules about sharing data and tracking. Making phones spill their secrets in other lands can depend on deals between countries.

But, hold on, there’s a catch. Bad guys can sometimes outsmart phone tracking by messing with their special IDs. It’s like sneaky tricks that need smart answers from both tech and the police to keep up.

And speaking of tech, as phones get fancier, tracking them gets tougher. Newer phones have extra security that can make tracking a puzzle. This means the police need to keep learning and coming up with new plans.

Here’s a twist: you’re not the only one who can find your phone. There are services that can help, too. They mix GPS, Wi-Fi, and those cell towers to show you where your phone is in real-time. So, you’re like a detective for your own stuff.

Think about emergencies, like someone going missing. Fast phone tracking can be a superhero move. Some places made plans for the police to quickly find phones and send alarms in scary situations. It’s like tech teaming up with real-life heroes.

But remember, you’re part of this too. Locking your phone and using strong passwords keeps it safe. It’s like having your own super shield against sneaky phone snatchers.

As time goes by, phone tracking keeps getting cooler. There are new tricks like better GPS and super smart math to figure out where a phone is. It’s like a game that never stops leveling up, making sure your phone’s always got a safety net.

For more interesting video tutorials: click here

This article was first published on 1 June 2017 and recently updated on December 2022.


  1. This will work and above info is true unfortunately this process require followup / theft happen against any of VVIP . we have everything Law, Law enforcing authority etc…..but the main culprit is attitude …. “CHALTHA HE bhayya”

  2. My name is Ajinkya and I leave in Mumbai. my mobile is lost before 5 days and when my mobile is lost, then immediately I go police station and complaint registered. You guide to me that how can I trace my mobile?


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