- 0.1 How an iPhone becomes blacklisted
- 0.2 Unlock Stolen iPhone – What’s the current law?
- 1 Available methods to unlock a stolen iPhone
- 2 Unlock a Blacklisted iPhone
- 3 Unblacklist Stolen iPhone
- 4 Unlock Stolen iPhone After removing Blacklist Status
- 5 Methods that will NOT unlock a stolen iPhone
- 6 Conclusions for Unlocking a Stolen iPhone
There is a massive explosion of posts and forums with guides and tutorials that claim to unlock stolen iPhone devices. It is possible, but first, it is important to check and find some specific information about your iPhone.
Some of them are valid, some of them try to “exploit” illegal methods and others are just speculations or lies.
How an iPhone becomes blacklisted
Many visitors tend to believe that Apple can blacklist an iPhone but this is not completely true. These are the main reasons when the IMEI of an iPhone gets inside a national Blacklist:
- When the original owner reports the iPhone as Lost or Stolen to his Wireless Network
- When there are bills left unpaid to a Carrier
- When the iPhone was flagged as Replaced
- When the iPhone was acquired illegally
- When the iPhone was involved in fraudulent activities
You won’t be able to use any SIM Card with a blacklisted iPhone inside the country it was blacklisted. Since 2017, many neighboring countries started to share their blacklists, like Canada, USA, and Mexico and right now there is a huge possibility that blacklists may start getting shared overseas.
How many stolen iPhones are sold every year
We made a research based on our visitors’ reports and iPhone theft statistics from all around the world and this is what we found.
Keep in mind, that an iPhone can be simlocked, blacklisted & iCloud locked at the same time
There are many other problematic combinations (under warranty, under contract, insurance claims, etc.) to add, so let me tell you just this:
Only 4% of sold second-hand iPhones are CLEAN and without any issue.
Unlock Stolen iPhone – What’s the current law?
I am obligated to inform you what you should do when you find a stolen iPhone or you purchase a stolen or lost iPhone.
Even though stealing an iPhone is a felony for some weird reason there are no laws against unlocking a stolen iPhone.
In my opinion, you should always try to find the original owner when you purchase a stolen iPhone.
If the owner has the Find My iPhone feature ON, he will be able to send a message on the iCloud Activation Lock Screen and inform the person who found it how to contact him.
In very rare cases people have contacted the original owner and the story had a happy ending. In most cases, people just try to sell them on eBay or other online stores.
Available methods to unlock a stolen iPhone
Based on our research and experience we are able to provide you a few methods that will help you start using your blacklisted iPhone again. Legally and Permanently.
- Unlock a Blacklisted iPhone
- 1) via Premium IMEI Unlock Services
- 2) via Carrier
- Unblacklist Stolen iPhone
- 1) Unblacklist Stolen iPhone through a third-party service
- 2) Unblacklist Stolen iPhone through Original Owner
- Unlock Stolen iPhone After removing Blacklist Status
- 1) through Carrier
- 2) through IMEI Unlock Service
Difference between Unblacklisting and Unlocking a stolen iPhone
Carrier Unlocking a blacklisted iPhone will not remove the blacklist status, only the SIM Lock.
On the other hand, when you unblacklist an iPhone, you can use all SIM cards as long as your iPhone is unlocked.
Only with the combination of both services, your iPhone will be fully unlocked worldwide.
Unlock a Blacklisted iPhone
1) Through Premium IMEI Unlock Services
You can Unlock a Stolen iPhone with a Premium iPhone IMEI Unlock Service, but what exactly is this method?
It is not 100% clear of how this method works and if it is 100% legal.
What we know until now, is that this service is able to change the status of your iPhone inside Apple’s GSX databases, from LOCKED to UNLOCKED.
It cannot change the blacklist status though, which means that your iPhone will not be allowed to operate inside the country it was blacklisted.
These services are way too expensive and their estimated completion time may take up to one month. Moreover, they do not have 100% success rate and they are extremely unstable.
Requirements of Premium IMEI Unlock Services
- The IMEI Number of your iPhone (Guide: How to find your IMEI number)
- iPhone model
- Which Telecoms Network is blocking your iPhone
- The Blacklist Status of your iPhone
As I informed you from the start, only specific Mobile Networks are supported by those Premium Network Unlock services, so proceed very carefully.
2) Through Carrier
You won’t be able to use a Network’s SIM Deactivation Services unless you unblacklist your iPhone first. All Carriers refuse to unlock a blacklisted iPhone and there is no way around it.
Unblacklist Stolen iPhone
1) Through a third-party serviceCurrently, those are the available services that you can use. Companies that offer Unblacklist services for other Mobile Networks are fake, so avoid them at all costs.
2) Through the original owner
If your iPhone’s Network is not supported by the Unblacklist services that I listed you to the top, then the only way to remove the LOST/STOLEN status from your iPhone is through the original owner (The one who reported it as Lost or Stolen).
This may sound a bit difficult, but it turns out that original owners are willing to remove the blacklist of that iDevice to people that got scammed and bought their lost/stolen device, so it is highly recommended!
If you can’t find the original owner then there is a special service, only for USA iPhones, that will get you the contact information.
Unlock Stolen iPhone After removing Blacklist Status
1) Through Carrier
All Mobile Networks allow their subscribers to request for a Network Unlock
This is the best approach because it is FREE and 100% Legal and Official!
- You need to contact the Mobile Network that locks your iPhone and apply for a Network Unlock formal request.
- You need to locate their Unlocking department (Not their customer support), create an Unlock form Request e-mail (Sometimes they require a letter) and send it to them.
2) Through IMEI Unlock Service
The requirements and the procedure are exactly the same with the Premium IMEI Unlock Service, only this time your success chances are increased because your previously stolen iPhone is now CLEAN.
You can also try iPhoneUnlock.Zone for handling the Unlocking procedure just by providing them your iPhone’s IMEI Number.
Methods that will NOT unlock a stolen iPhone
1) Software Unlock for Stolen iPhone
When it comes to older iPhones, like iPhone 2G/3G/3Gs/4 (Up to 01.59.00 baseband version), the Software Method works like a charm. You just need to jailbreak it and then unlock it with Ultrasn0w.
Ultrasn0w can Unlock Stolen iPhone, but I cannot be 100% sure that you will be able to use it inside the country that it was blacklisted.
Since Blacklists contain IMEI numbers, I am pretty sure that even with a Software unlock, your iPhone will not be allowed to operate within that country’s carriers.
For the newer iPhones, the Software method does not work. Not only for Blacklisted iPhones but for both CLEAN and BLACKLISTED IMEI numbers.
2) Worldwide iPhone Unlock Method for Stolen iPhone
UPDATE: The Worldwide iPhone Unlock service is OFFLINE (DO NOT ORDER).
There is one last way to Unlock Stolen iPhone, which is similar to the above. Instead of ordering an Official iPhone Unlock, you can find a service, which does not take into consideration the Network of your device.
This service should only be ordered when you do not know the network of your iPhone (Although you can find it with an iPhone IMEI Check service) or if there is not an official service for a blacklisted device for your Mobile Network.
We suggest this service be your last resort, even though it is working without any problems. It is always better to use only the Legal and Official Network Unlock and/or Unblacklist methods.
The worldwide iPhone Unlock service was able to unlock ANY iPhone locked on ANY Carrier. Unfortunately, this service is not working, and all iPhones that were unlocked through this method, they are being relocked!
3) Hardware Unlock Method for Stolen iPhone
Some Repair Shops found a loophole around SIM Unlocking and Blacklist Status Removal.
They replace the problematic motherboard with a CLEAN one and for a few weeks, everything seems alright.
At some point, Mobile Networks and Apple finds out the illegal replacement through Apple GSX database and flag the iPhone as Replaced.
The Replaced iPhone becomes instantly Blacklisted. Don’t use this illegal iPhone unlock method.
Conclusions for Unlocking a Stolen iPhone
It’s not impossible to unlock a reported as stolen iPhone as long as you use the right unlocking methods. Follow these steps below in order to identify the exact Status of an iPhone and proceed with the necessary Network Unlocking/Unblacklisting services:
- Identify SIM Lock and Blacklist Status
- Unblacklist your iPhone
- Request SIM Lock Removal through Carrier