How to Tell if an iPhone is Blacklisted
What is a blacklisted phone & what does it mean when an iPhone phone is blacklisted?
A Blacklisted phone means that a phone on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or any GSM network has been reported lost or stolen. Also, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile work together to blacklist IMEI phones. Blacklisted phones can’t be used in the United States, but some companies can unlock them for international use.
While a “Bad ESN” means that phones on CDMA networks means the phone has been reported Lost/Stolen or a bad ESN can also mean that the phone is still active on another account and can’t be reactivated on another account.
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If your ESN, MEID or IMEI is blocked on a Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile iPhone smartphone? The following options offers instructions detailing what you need to do if your ESN, MEID or IMEI is blocked on all of the major wireless carriers. This is also important for an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4s that is reported blacklisted
Why is my ESN, MEID or IMEI blocked?
It is very important to contact the wireless carrier that you want to have the iPhone running on to find out why the ESN, MEID or IMEI is blocked. It might be because your phone was previously reported lost or stolen; or, it might be because your phone’s billing account is unpaid or suspended. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile will be able to confirm if the ESN, MEID or IMEI is blocked, and why.
Ask Your Wireless Carrier to unblock your ESN, MEID or IMEI
If you previously reported your phone lost or stolen, then recovered it, you can ask the wireless carrier to unblock your ESN, MEID or IMEI. If you are behind on payments or if a previous owner was behind on payments, will have to pay the balance in order for any of the major wireless carriers to unblock your ESN, MEID or IMEI. If someone else, such as a previous owner, reported your phone stolen you might have purchased stolen merchandise. If so, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile will want to return the phone to its rightful owner and you can pursue potential legal claims against the seller.Wireless Carrier won’t unblock my ESN!
It’s a frustrating situation, but if the wireless carrier won’t unblock your ESN you still have options:
Repair companies will purchase blocked phones for spare parts, while international customers can often still use U.S.-blocked phones on their networks.
Only use it with Wi-Fi. You can still use WiFi and play games.