1. suspiciousteve's Avatar
    Hi everyone,

    I am wondering if I change the IMEI number of a 9700 (or any 9 series BB) to that of non PDA IMEI number, would the blackberry device accept it OK?

    I want to do this because with my carrier, all the full QWERTY phones now require a $30/mo data plan that I really do not need. If the phone has WiFi and I have a NETbook, I have no need for internet on my phone. But the WM and BB operating systems have the ability to store virtually unlimited SMS and emails messages, see phone logs from days/weeks in the past, etc. (features that are missing from non WM and BB operating system phones).

    I was told that starting in January of 2009, my carrier started doing random network scans of phone IMEI numbers to determine if the phone was on the "correct" data plan or to see if the phone has a data plan. If I change the IMEI number to say an old Razr that I have in my closet, would this eliminate me getting the annoying text message saying "you need to have this data plan for this device, ...blah blah" and then have the hassle of calling my provider to tell them I do not need their data plan ( I have your netbook, dsl, - why do i need another internet source??)

    I'd like to hear what you guys think. If this is not possible I'll consider another avenue for a full QWERTY key pad with those other features I'm looking for.

    Thanks
    12-22-09 03:01 PM
  2. syb0rg's Avatar
    I know t-mobile's system automatically updates the devices IMEI numbers.....don't know if that will work...

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-22-09 03:15 PM
  3. ridesno159's Avatar
    I know t-mobile's system automatically updates the devices IMEI numbers.....don't know if that will work...

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    +1 that's how I understand it. If you would activate a dumbphone and then take the SIM out and put in a Blackberry, your network would find out. They all do random scanning to find out if the phone is on the correct plan.

    Now it might be possible to actually change the IMEI number on the BB, but that would be illegal and you could get into more trouble than a $30 a month fee. I don't even know if it's possible or not though.
    12-22-09 03:24 PM
  4. afropoika's Avatar
    It is possible to reprogram the IMEI of a phone (be it smart or dumb). However, not only is it illegal, there is also the risk of bricking your BlackBerry with no return.

    For the carrier however, it is impossible to see whether you really have a BlackBerry or not, provided the IMEI is correctly reprogrammed to make the BlackBerry act as a dumbphone.
    12-22-09 03:36 PM
  5. suspiciousteve's Avatar
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the replies. I did not realize this was an illegal activity and now understand this may involve consequences far worst than $30/mo. I think I'll just sit tight for awhile on my current phone until I decide when I am ready to commit myself to another internet service plan.

    Thanks
    12-22-09 04:43 PM
  6. dictoresno's Avatar
    yea if you are asking about how to re-write your devices IMEI to make it one from a non blackberry device, it is highly illegal. also, most likely impossible with the software or lack thereof available to you as well.
    12-22-09 04:50 PM
  7. ThePoisonBerry's Avatar
    Yeap Changing IMEI is illegal. Every wireless device is tied to unique number for its life.
    12-22-09 07:45 PM
  8. bluz's Avatar
    IMEI number is specific for every devices be it a BB or any other device. One can reporgram the IMEI number but it is totally illegal.
    12-22-09 11:01 PM
  9. fresheStF's Avatar
    I have been browsing the internet looking for the same exact solution for my Blackberry which I've already purchased and just received notification that the data plan has been added to my plan.

    So, the solutions I have found are as follows:

    1. You can find software to change the IMEI number (which I have read many places to be illegal). I'm not sure about changing the IMEI number to an old phone however. There are IMEI and PIN generators that can be used. You also run the risk of bricking your phone through this method, making it useless.

    2. I read that if you purchased a T-Mobile branded Blackberry and unlocked it to use on the AT&T network, for example, the IMEI number is not in the AT&T system and would not be detected as a Blackberry.

    3. You can put your SIM back into your old phone, call your carrier and tell them you would like to get rid of the data plan and you will just continue to use your old phone instead. Then switch back to the Blackberry and hope they don't notice. (I'm not sure how they go about checking that phones have the appropriate required data plans, I read that it is done randomly).
    01-21-10 08:34 PM
  10. CharlieV's Avatar
    Why is it illegal? I really don't think it is (and I'm a lawyer! Though, admittedly, I am the wrong kind of lawyer so don't take my disbelief as some sort of advice). It is very doable with an older phone that you own and software. I can see why it would be some kind of fraud to use someone else's imei, but if you have an old phone laying around....

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    01-21-10 10:36 PM
  11. bluz's Avatar
    It is possible to reprogram the IMEI of a phone (be it smart or dumb). However, not only is it illegal, there is also the risk of bricking your BlackBerry with no return.

    For the carrier however, it is impossible to see whether you really have a BlackBerry or not, provided the IMEI is correctly reprogrammed to make the BlackBerry act as a dumbphone.
    it's completely illegal and you can get into more trouble than you can handle.
    01-21-10 11:56 PM
  12. syb0rg's Avatar
    Why is it illegal? I really don't think it is (and I'm a lawyer! Though, admittedly, I am the wrong kind of lawyer so don't take my disbelief as some sort of advice). It is very doable with an older phone that you own and software. I can see why it would be some kind of fraud to use someone else's imei, but if you have an old phone laying around....

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    I mean seriously i have a car laying around, i'm rebuilding it... so i'll take that car's VIN number and put it on a kit car i am working as well.. i mean what the harm the orginal VIN number isn't being used.... so what the big deal.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    01-22-10 07:57 AM
  13. CharlieV's Avatar
    Well I see A lot of posts about this or that being illegal, and this or that usually isn't criminally illegal; rather, its some sort of contractual breach at worst. I still don't see the illegality of it but I could be wrong. Since I don't threaten national security I don't worry much about looking guilty of doing so..

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    01-22-10 11:32 PM
  14. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Very illegal, according to the FCC. FCC: Wireless Services: Cellular Services: Operations: Fraud


    "Cellular fraud is defined as the unauthorized use, tampering, or manipulation of a cellular phone or service. Cellular industry estimates indicate that carriers lose millions per year to cellular fraud, with the principal cause being subscription fraud. Subscriber fraud occurs when a subscriber signs up for service with fraudulently obtained customer information or false identification.
    In the past, cloning of cellular phones was a major concern. A cloned cellular telephone is one that has been reprogrammed to transmit the electronic serial number (ESN) and telephone number (MIN) belonging to another (legitimate) cellular telephone. Unscrupulous persons obtain valid ESN/MIN combinations by illegally monitoring the transmissions from the cellular telephones of legitimate subscribers. Each cellular telephone is supposed to have a unique factory-set ESN. After cloning, however, because both cellular telephones have the same ESN/MIN combination, cellular systems cannot distinguish the cloned cellular telephone from the legitimate one.
    The Commission considers any knowing use of cellular telephone with an altered ESN to be a violation of the Communications Act (Section 301) and alteration of the ESN in a cellular telephone to be assisting in such violation. The Wireless Telephone Protection Act (Public Law 105-172) was signed into law on April 24, 1998, expanding the prior law to criminalize the use, possession, manufacture or sale of cloning hardware or software. The cellular equipment manufacturing industry has deployed authentication systems that have proven to be a very effective countermeasure to cloning. Authentication supplements the use of the ESN and MIN with a changing encrypted code that can not be obtained by off-the-air monitoring."
    01-22-10 11:45 PM
  15. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Well the law is the law... But can someone actually confirm the legality of it? All I see are posts without any sources.
    See my post #17. I gave the FCC link.
    01-22-10 11:50 PM
  16. fresheStF's Avatar


    "Cellular fraud is defined as the unauthorized use, tampering, or manipulation of a cellular phone or service. Cellular industry estimates indicate that carriers lose millions per year to cellular fraud, with the principal cause being subscription fraud. Subscriber fraud occurs when a subscriber signs up for service with fraudulently obtained customer information or false identification.
    In the past, cloning of cellular phones was a major concern. A cloned cellular telephone is one that has been reprogrammed to transmit the electronic serial number (ESN) and telephone number (MIN) belonging to another (legitimate) cellular telephone. Unscrupulous persons obtain valid ESN/MIN combinations by illegally monitoring the transmissions from the cellular telephones of legitimate subscribers. Each cellular telephone is supposed to have a unique factory-set ESN. After cloning, however, because both cellular telephones have the same ESN/MIN combination, cellular systems cannot distinguish the cloned cellular telephone from the legitimate one.
    The Commission considers any knowing use of cellular telephone with an altered ESN to be a violation of the Communications Act (Section 301) and alteration of the ESN in a cellular telephone to be assisting in such violation. The Wireless Telephone Protection Act (Public Law 105-172) was signed into law on April 24, 1998, expanding the prior law to criminalize the use, possession, manufacture or sale of cloning hardware or software. The cellular equipment manufacturing industry has deployed authentication systems that have proven to be a very effective countermeasure to cloning. Authentication supplements the use of the ESN and MIN with a changing encrypted code that can not be obtained by off-the-air monitoring."
    This definition of the law is somewhat open to interpretation and could easily be argued against. Once you purchase the cellular device, you should be authorized to "tamper" and "manipulate" it. If you are only changing the IMEI number to another IMEI number, not owned by anyone else, you are not "tampering" or "manipulating" the service. I highly doubt they would pursue a case like this, but I suppose there is that possibility.
    01-24-10 02:03 PM
  17. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    This definition of the law is somewhat open to interpretation and could easily be argued against. Once you purchase the cellular device, you should be authorized to "tamper" and "manipulate" it. If you are only changing the IMEI number to another IMEI number, not owned by anyone else, you are not "tampering" or "manipulating" the service. I highly doubt they would pursue a case like this, but I suppose there is that possibility.
    "Any knowing use of cellular telephone with an altered ESN" would mean that owners cannot tamper with the device's IMEI. Similarly, as one other poster mentioned, just because you own a car does not allow you to alter its VIN.
    01-24-10 02:10 PM
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