If you happen to lose or have your cellular phone stolen in Costa Rica you can get help from your operator.
Kobi (ICE), Claro and Movistar can block a lost or stolen cellular phone a the network level and in conjunction with Costa Rica’s membership to the GSMA** the cellular phone is virtually usually in some 200 countries and 800 mobile operators around the world.
Firstly, it is important that your cellular phone’s IMEI* is registered with the operator. If you purchased your cell phone from Kolbi, Claro, Movistar, Tuyo and Fullmovil this is automatic. If you did not, when you obtained your cellular service- prepaid or postpay – you were asked to identify the unit the number was to be registered on.
If you bought your cell phone from Costa Rican retailers or online for instance and you placed the SIM*** card yourself, likely the cell unit is not registered. That is, a unit is registered but not necessarily the one you were using at the time of the loss or theft.
Thus, first step is to ensure that your cellular phone is registered. Contact your operator to make the change. If not, you are out of luck, as the following will not apply.
So, if you lose or have your cell phone stolen, and you have followed the foregoing, here is what to do:
1. Call (of course from a different phone, for ‘your’ phone was lost/stolen) your operator to make a report. You will be asked to identify yourself and the number. (Note, if you phone’s IMEI was not registered, difficult to do at this stage)
2. Your operator will now block the phone. In Costa Rica this will occur immediately, but it will take up to 24 hours for the blocking to be worldwide.
Now, if you do find your phone (assuming it was only lost or the thief grew a conscience and returned it), you need to contact your operator to report the change to have the phone unblocked.
Use the following numbers to make a report:
- CLARO: *10 from a Claro phone or 7002-7002 from any other phone
- KOLBI: 1193 from any phone
- MOVISTAR: 1693 from any phone
- TUYO: 1718 from any phone
- FULL MOVIL: 555 from any fullmovil phone or 905-fullmovil from any phone
The IMEI stands for the International Mobile Station Equipment Identity or IMEI, a number, usually unique, to identify 3GPP (i.e., GSM, UMTS and LTE) and iDEN mobile phones, as well as some satellite phones. It is usually found printed inside the battery compartment of the phone. It can also be displayed on the screen of the phone by entering *#06# into the keypad on most phones.
The IMEI number is used by a network to identify valid devices and therefore can be used for stopping a stolen phone from accessing that network. For example, if a mobile phone is stolen, the owner can call his or her network provider and instruct them to “blacklist” the phone using its IMEI number. This renders the phone useless on that network and sometimes other networks too, whether or not the phone’s SIM is changed.
The GSM Association (GSMA), formed in 1995, is an association of mobile operators and related companies devoted to supporting the standardizing, deployment and promotion of the GSM mobile telephone system and spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organizations.
A subscriber identity module or subscriber identification module (SIM) is an integrated circuit that securely stores the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) and the related key used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile telephony devices (such as mobile phones and computers). A SIM is embedded into a removable SIM card, which can be transferred between different mobile devices.