Questions about IMEI blacklist

I'm an Expert Level 2
I'm an Expert Level 2

Questions about IMEI blacklist

I am familiar with the new IMEI blacklist that has recently been rolled out by the national carriers and I support the move as an effort to curb phone theft from consumers. But I have some concerns about potentially massive holes that would allow abuse of the initiative.


As I understand it, if I buy a phone from a carrier and it is subsequently lost or stolen, I can call my carrier and have the IMEI blocked by adding to a blacklist. Further, this blacklist is shared by all of the participating Canadian carriers and by many international carriers, so it will be blocked on those networks too. So far so good.


Now, I have a few additional questions and I'd really appreciate it if someone from Fido could answer each one separately.


  1. If I buy a phone directly from a manufacturer, say Apple, and I use it on Fido (and call to have the IMEI added to my device equipment history list), if this phone is later stolen, can I call Fido and have it added to the blacklist?
  2. If I buy a phone from someone that bought it from Fido, would they be able to later call Fido and have the IMEI blacklisted?
  3. As a follow up to question 2, if I buy the phone from someone that bought it from Fido, can he and I call Fido to have the IMEI removed from his account list and added to my account equipment list? Would that prevent him from subsequently being able to have it illegitimately blacklisted? If it removed his account and is added to mine, can he still have it blacklisted?
  4. If a phone is illegitimately added to the blacklist, is there any mechanism to have it removed from the blacklist?
  5. If a phone is bought on subsidy from a carrier and the buyer defaults on their contract (say they "disappear") will the IMEI automatically be blacklisted by the carrier?


The scenarios I am imagining for abuse (and have now read about) are:

  • Someone buys a phone from a carrier, sells it, and then calls his carrier to report it as stolen in order to make an insurance claim for a new phone. If, when it was sold to another person, the new buyer was able to have it added to their account and thereby prevent the shady original buyer from blacklisting it, that would close this avenue for defrauding the carrier and the new buyer.
  • A couple breakup. One partner had both phones under their name and calls to have the IMEI of the other person illegitimately blacklisted. Can that be remedied after the fact?


I understand that it may be in the interests of the carriers to discourage buying from anyone but their stores, but the fact is that sales to occur outside of the carriers. The answers to these questions is important in order to determine whether the new blacklist is being used or could be used to undermine confidence in buying phones from outside the carriers, which was never the intent of the blacklist proposed by the CRTC.





Thanks very much for any formal answers Fido can provide.



***Edited to add labels***

Accepted Solution

Re: Questions about IMEI blacklist

Hi 10yearfido,


Answer to Q1: If the Fido phone or non-Fido phone has been used with your Fido SIM card, we are able to blacklist the IMEI from our end.


Answer to Q2-3:  If you have used the phone with a Fido SIM card, we are able to blacklist the IMEI from our end as we verify the equipment history. The initial user has 60 days after his last usage to blacklist the phone. The seller may blacklist it within the first 60 days to prevent any usage on the device, but after 60 days this cannot be done. Though once used on your account, you may blacklist the IMEI at any time as well. Therefore there is an uncertain period of 60 days if you choose to make a private purchase.

Answer to Q4:  The new rule is designed to help eliminate the black market for stolen devices in Canada and abroad. When you say illegitimately added it is harder for me to answer as it is not specific enough. We are only able to blacklist an IMEI when we have records that it was used by this person. For example, your friend cannot add the IMEI to their account and request a block, if they have never used the IMEI with their SIM card.


Answer to Q5:  When an account is defaulted, the price of the hardware subsidy is charged onto the account. The account will go into collections if ever the payment remains unpaid. Only by customer’s request an IMEI may be blacklisted.




Scenario 1: The same rule will apply, there is 60 days where the initial user can blacklist the IMEI. The new buyer will have the 60 days uncertainty. When someone reclaims another device through the device protection plan, we do not blacklist an IMEI, as this is only done when the user request this.


Scenario 2: The account holder will have control over the blacklist of the devices. This is not an IMEI blacklist only policy, the account holder may decide to cancel the line, change the plan, or even suspend it after a break up as well.



I hope I was able to answer your concerns.


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Message 1 of 34
I'm a Participant Level 2 mrf
I'm a Participant Level 2

Re: Questions about IMEI blacklist

@Cawtau Thanks! It helped a lot. So basically I am fine because the phone I bought was sealed and never activated by original owner. 

It also seems that after 90 days, I can call fido to unlock it for $50. Right? 

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Message 31 of 34

Re: Questions about IMEI blacklist

Hey @mrf!


FidoPierre jumping in here. Smiley 


That's correct, any Fido device can be unlocked for the cost of $50+tx, in this case the phone would need to appear in your account for a minimum of 90 days. 

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Message 32 of 34
I'm a Participant Level 2 LG76
I'm a Participant Level 2

Re: Questions about IMEI blacklist

Did anything become of this? I bought a brand new sealed iPhone XR and the same thing happened, had it for 3 weeks signed into iCloud and on the Fido network, and as of yesterday afternoon it's been reported as blacklisted. 😠

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Message 33 of 34

Re: Questions about IMEI blacklist

Hey @LG76!


A phone can only be blacklisted if it was used on an account within the last 60 days, so this is definitely odd.


I'll send you a PM so we can take a look at what's going on and try to get to the bottom of things. Smiley 

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Message 34 of 34