The Indian Govt has taken a decision that tampering of IMEI numbers a punishable offense. If you do that you will attract a jail term of up to three years. Those who do not have the idea of IMEI, the mobile IMEI number is a fifteen digit unique identification numbers for every mobile phone.
“It shall be unlawful, if a person, except the manufacturer –- intentionally removes, obliterates, changes, or alters unique Mobile Device Equipment Identification Number,” the Department of Telecom said in a notification dated August 25.
The new rules called “the prevention of tampering of the Mobile Device Equipment Identification Number, Rules, 2017”. IMEI is a unique ID of a mobile device. Whenever a user makes a call, the call record shows phone number of the caller and IMEI number of the handset from which the call has been made. A user can change the mobile number by changing the sim card but mobile IMEI number can be changed by a technical person using special equipment.
In one of the tracking cases of a mobile phone, the Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cell of the DoT found that there were around 18,000 handsets using same IMEI number.
Your unique phone number is allocated by global industry body GSMA. When you lost your mobile phone, you need to mention the IMEI number of the handset for tracking. The Department of Telecommunication had started consultation in June to frame strict laws around tampering of IMEI numbers.
The rules have been framed in a combination of section 7 and section 25 of the Indian Telegraph Act. Besides, the Department of Telecom is putting in place a new system that will block all services on stolen or lost mobile phones on any network even if the SIM card is removed or IMEI number of the handset is changed.