What does it take to track a lost or stolen cell phone?

1 minute read

What does it take to track a lost or stolen cell phone? Is such a thing impossible, or is there a glimmer of hope if the stars align?

I called my cell phone provider about a lost/stolen phone last year, and they told me while they technically could track it, they would only do so with a police request. I contacted the police, and they said they will only make such a request if it's a life/death emergency, mostly based on the cost the cell phone companies charge for such a search.

The cell phone provider told me all they could do was blacklist the phone, if I provide them the IEMI, which I have.

Is there anything else I can do? I just want to retrieve my phone. I have no issue providing the police or cell phone provider my receipt with IEMI and photo ID proving I purchased the phone.

Is there any way for a techy to track this down?

  • If I befriend someone working at my cell phone provider, could they look up the geo-location information?
  • If I'm lucky enough to have it still in the area, could I obtain/build an ISMI catcher to track it down?

Are there any other options, no matter how far-fetched, or should I just have it black listed and move on?

UPDATE: I've received feedback from various sources, and will update this list as I get more. It's worth noting these all need to be enabled in advance, so if you have your working phone, you may consider them. It's also worth considering that these providers will now have the necessary information to track you, if they don't already.

Phone company:

Phone provider:


If you have no luck finding your phone, you can report the IEMI number to your cell phone provider and have it blacklisted so no one else can use it.

Leave a comment