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Can my provider permanently disable my phone.

  1. profile image49
    robertsonlhposted 6 years ago

    Can my provider permanently disable my phone.

    My cell phone was stolen and my service provider told me they would disable the phone so it could not be used again.  I see ads for "unlocking" or "unblocking" cell phone all the time.  Is there someone here knowledgable about cell phones that could tell me if Verizon can really permanently disable my old phone?  If that is possible, why would someone steal it?

    Thanks for your help,

  2. ibbarkingmad profile image82
    ibbarkingmadposted 6 years ago

    It depends of your phone. If you have a GSM phone (if it has a SIM card) then no. If you have a CDMA phone then yes. It also depends on the type of phone. iOS and Android  devices have the ability to remote wipe depending on the type of program/app. I am not sure about the iOS apps, but there are some Android apps you can use to remote wipe after the fact. It is better to have the app installed first though.
    Back to the GSM phones, the carrier can disable the SIM card so no calls etc can be used on the phone with the SIM in it, but that does not wipe the data on the phone.

  3. kschang profile image88
    kschangposted 6 years ago

    Completely different things.

    "Unlocking" only applies to GSM phones (AT&T, T-Mobile). GSM phones use SIMs. Theoretically if you take the SIM out and put it in another phone, that phone would behave as if it's yours. However, most carriers "lock" their phones so it will only work with "their" SIMs. So you can't use a T-Mobile SIM in an AT&T phone, for instance.

    Unlocking breaks that restriction, so the phone's no longer limited to one carrier's SIM.

    That has nothing to do with the phone that's lost. Those are disabled according to phone's internal ID. In any case, Verizon don't use GSM. smile

    No idea what you mean "unblocking".

  4. LegendaryN8 profile image58
    LegendaryN8posted 6 years ago

    I may be naive in this, but couldn't they just disable the number (make it a not-in-service number?).

    That way, they would still use your phone, but they wouldn't be using it under your plan (I assume).

  5. profile image49
    robertsonlhposted 6 years ago

    Thanks for your help guys.  My old phone does not have a sim card.  I am not concerned about the thief using my account, I had the phone turned off within a few minutes.  I am mostly just curious why someone would steal a phone that is useless to him.  According to Verizon, my phone is absolutely dead.  It cannot be reactivated except by me.  It is a paper weight, nothing more, and of absolutely no use to another living soul on this planet.

    If that is true, why steal it?  It was valuable to me, but (according to Verizon) useless to anyone else.