The easy way to check if a phone is lost or stolen
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Before you buy that used or secondhand phone, make sure to check that it's not registered as lost or stolen.
If it is stolen, the owner could request that the phone is blocked from carrying network or they could remotely lock the phone so you can't use it.
The CTIA has an easy way to see if a phone is marked as lost or stolen at stolenphonechecker.org.
You'll need the phone's unique serial number such as the International Mobile Equipment Identity number or IMEI.
It might also be called an IMEI ID or ESN.
To find it dial star, pound, zero, six, pound on the phone.
Other ways to find this number is by looking in the device settings menu, checking for a bar code on the phone, or on the original packaging.
Enter the number on the website to verify.
And if you need to register a phone as lost or stolen, contact your wireless provider.
In San Francisco, I'm Lexy Savvides, CNET.com for CBS News.