How to check if your IMEI number has been hacked?

Stealing smartphones is big business in recent times, according to a study by Consumer Reports that showed that about 3.1 Million Americans lost in this market in 2013.

This was nearly twice the amount of theft that the organization had previously estimated. But technology has advanced to the point where your phone could be stolen from your hands even though it is still in your possession like a credit card.

This is a common scenario that can occur if your IMEI number has been hacked.
The IMEI number can be used to identify the model number, country of origin, and whether or not the phone was reported as stolen or lost. Mobile networks use IMEI numbers in order to verify that valid phones are being used. They can also block access to phones reported as stolen or lost by their owners.
Continue reading to learn what happens if your IMEI is hacked and why it is so common. Also, what you can do if it does happen to you.

Hacked IMEI Number

It is possible for someone else to hack your IMEI. If this happens, you will face many problems.
If someone has your IMEI, they can clone you mobile device. Your wireless service provider may disable your phone and the cloned one if they are both on simultaneously.
Apps such as WhatsApp also use your IMEI to identify you. This means that anyone with your IMEI number could gain access to your WhatsApp account. If you are buying a used or refurbished smartphone, make sure to verify the IMEI number with the wireless service provider, and possibly one of the online databases that allows for this type of check.
Your IMEI is a 15-digit serial code that you can see by pressing CODE on your keypad. Your IMEI number will be immediately displayed on your cellphone’s screen.

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What is the purpose of hacking IMEI numbers?

The short answer to your question is money. Criminality can pay for those who are willing to take ill-gotten profits. 
The following scenario is a real-life example of a criminal ring stealing smartphones. They would then steal the phones, modify the IMEIs and then sell them to their customers. 

The thieves took out the pattern lock to gain access to the data stored on the phones. The thieves would then use an app to erase all data. They would then connect the smartphones to an app that electronically changed IMEI numbers.
 This will allow you to appreciate the continued popularity of these devices, and perhaps also to accept the fact that thieves are likely to continue profiting from this trend.