It's called the blacklist, but it's a roll you want to be on - or at least have your phone on.
Local Mounties are urging smartphone owners to join a stolen cellphone blacklist set up by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA).
Smartphones on the blacklist are essentially useless to criminals who steal them because the device is blocked and cannot be reactivated by any service provider that is participating in the program.
"The blacklist program is a great tool for smartphone owners and bad news for smartphone thieves," RCMP Cpl. Jamie Chung said in a statement.
"But we've found that many people don't really understand how the program works and what they have to do to make the program a success. That message needs to get out so smartphone owners can protect themselves."
The program works when a lost or stolen smartphone is added to the blacklist by a cellphone service provider after the device's owner reports the device lost or stolen and provides the phone's IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity).
The IMEI number is a code that identifies a device to a service network.
The blacklist program was launched Oct. 1, and will only cover phones reported stolen from Sept. 30 onwards.
Participating carriers include Bell, Telus, Rogers and Wind.
Chung noted Coquitlam RCMP have been dealing with a rash of phone thefts in the community.
He pointed out in some cases the victims are being physically robbed of their phone.
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