03 November 2009

How to check if your second hand handphone / cellphone is a stolen in Singapore

Unsure If The Secondhand Phone You Are Buying Is Reported Stolen or Lost? SMS 74688 To Check

Handphone ownership in Singapore has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. Not only has this resulted in a vibrant handphone resale industry, in which handphones are bought and sold via secondhand dealers, but handphones have also become a target for thieves.

The Handphone IMEI Tracing System (HITS), an online handphone screening service, was developed and launched in 2006 to deter handphone thieves from selling off stolen handphones to secondhand dealers and the public. The system uses each handphone’s unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number to identify handphones which have been reported stolen.

Where screenings could only be done via the Internet previously (accessible via Police's e-Services webpage at http://www.spf.gov.sg/epc/index.htm), the HITS system has now been enhanced to allow for screenings to be easily done via Short-Message-Service (SMS) as well. From 27 October 2009 onwards, members of the public and secondhand dealers can easily check if the secondhand phones they are about to purchase have been reported stolen or lost via the Internet and SMS. Through this enhancement, the Police hope to deter handphone related crimes by providing a more convenient and effective avenue for members of the public to perform IMEI screening.

For Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, Employment Pass and Work Permit holders, an SMS screening can be performed by sending "SPFHITS<space>NRIC No/FIN No<space>IMEI No" to 74688. For others, simply send "SPFHITS<space>Identity No<space>O<space>IMEI No" to 74688. Normal SMS charges apply.

If the screening result is "WANTED", members of the public are advised to proceed to any Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) or Neighbourhood Police Post (NPP) to lodge a Police report immediately. Members of the public are also advised that it is an offence to retain a handphone that has been reported stolen or lost.

Members of the public are strongly urged to screen the IMEI number before purchasing any secondhand phones and play their part to deter crime.


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