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WANTED: STOLEN MOBILE PHONES

09. September 2004

You know. You're on a tram, and when you get off you discover that someone's stolen your mobile phone from your pocket. Many such thefts occur each year, and stolen handsets have become black market best sellers, not only in used-goods shops. So Oskar decided to help fight against these rip-off artists, and hooked up with the registry of stolen mobile phones at the Mobil.cz Web site: http://mobil.

You know. You're on a tram, and when you get off you discover that someone's stolen your mobile phone from your pocket. Many such thefts occur each year, and stolen handsets have become black market best sellers, not only in used-goods shops. So Oskar decided to help fight against these rip-off artists, and hooked up with the registry of stolen mobile phones at the Mobil.cz Web site: http://mobil.idnes.cz/blacklist. Customers whose mobile phones have been stolen can enter their handsets into this database.

"By registering stolen phones we want to play a role in the fight against black market stolen handset sales," says Petr Šindler, Oskar's spokesman. "At the same time we offer customers an easy way to determine the origin of used handsets before buying them at used-goods shops, pawn shops, or through newspaper ads," he adds.

Since October 2001, when the database was launched, nearly ten thousand stolen handsets have been registered at Mobil.cz. "We hope that the database of stolen mobile phones will be used by many vendors, and that customers will demand confirmation that the handsets they buy aren't stolen. A great advantage is that this database is also accessible via WAP, at wap.mobil.cz. This allows very rapid data searches," says Dita Eckhardtová, Mobile.cz's editor-in-chief.

Stolen handsets are registered in the database by way of their identification numbers (IMEI). Customers can find their identification numbers on the boxes their handsets came in, on their guarantee certificates, or right on the handsets - on the labels affixed under the batteries or by entering the code *#06# to recover them from the phones' memories. After entering their IMEIs into the stolen handset database, customers must send in filled-in forms, criminal complaints, and possibly documents on the purchase of the mobile phones. A record of a stolen Oskar phone is available within 24 hours following the receipt of a written request.