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Thread: "Big Brother" curiosity

  1. #1
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    "Big Brother" curiosity

    So suppose you are using a TF byop sim in a NON-Tracfone branded phone, and you have never given the IMEI of that phone to TF (you activated the byop sim online so you didn’t have to specify the IMEI).

    If texting FOUR to 611611 returns the correct last-4 digits of your byop sim, can Tracfone still know the IMEI of the phone the sim is in (even though it isn't a TF-branded phone)?

    In other words, “is Big Brother still watching you” in this scenario? Just curious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sillyette View Post
    So suppose you are using a TF byop sim in a NON-Tracfone branded phone, and you have never given the IMEI of that phone to TF (you activated the byop sim online so you didn’t have to specify the IMEI).

    If texting FOUR to 611611 returns the correct last-4 digits of your byop sim, can Tracfone still know the IMEI of the phone the sim is in (even though it isn't a TF-branded phone)?

    In other words, “is Big Brother still watching you” in this scenario? Just curious.
    Yes.

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    Yes. I have a t-mobile line and account. One of the things the account has always showed is the imei of the phone I'm using. It used to take them days to update after a SIM move. But today I moved the SIM from a phone to a tablet and the change was reflected on the account in minutes.

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    IMHO. There is no such thing as anonymity if you use any tech.

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    Every time you connect to a tower the service provider sees the IMEI of the phone that is connecting to the tower.
    When you check the compatibility of your unlocked phone to work on a cellular provider's network you give them the phone's IMEI.
    If they could not tell everything about the phone from its IMEI they could not determine if it was compatible.
    With so much information being exchanged and recorded, cellular may be one of the biggest "Big Brothers" of them all. If you do not count the NSA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracfancier View Post
    ...With so much information being exchanged and recorded, cellular may be one of the biggest "Big Brothers" of them all. If you do not count the NSA.
    Hand in glove, hand in glove.

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    I used to do AT&T BYOP Deals. I never gave them the IMEIs, but whenever I changed phones they knew it. If they had a picture of the phone model, they'd display it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    I used to do AT&T BYOP Deals. I never gave them the IMEIs, but whenever I changed phones they knew it. If they had a picture of the phone model, they'd display it.
    Wow!

    So if you texted FOUR, would you get back the last-four of the IMEI, or the last-four digits of the SIM card? I'm guessing they'd give you the last-four of the IMEI since they knew what phone it was, down to the name of the model!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sillyette View Post
    So if you texted FOUR, would you get back the last-four of the IMEI, or the last-four digits of the SIM card? I'm guessing they'd give you the last-four of the IMEI since they knew what phone it was, down to the name of the model!
    I did the AT&T BYOP deals in 2020. Didn't know about texting FOUR back then. Don't know if it works on postpaid AT&T.

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    The answer to OP's question appears to be "no" based on my experience - I transferred from my Tracfone-unlocked Moto E5 to a Tracfone at&t sim about two months ago, did it online and didn't have to give the imei. The at&t sim is in an unlocked metro phone that is not the whitelist.

    I texted Four, and instead of the last four of the imei, I received the last four of my at&t sim. So Tracfone doesn't seem to know the imei of this phone.

    BTW, I have not received the incompatible phone message on this at&t sim. That may be because I have been on at&t for too short a time and the system hasn't detected my incompatible phone yet. Or it could be because Tracfone doesn't know the imei of my phone because I didn't give it to them during transfer, I don't know. Actually I now wish I had done the transfer using chat so that I could have received Tracfone's nice offer of $$ off a new phone.

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    If you want TF to know the IMEI text the word MIGRATE to 611611. This is a designed check to see if your device is affected by any network changes.

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    I just texted Migrate to 611611. The first text I got in response talked about VoLTE. It said let's check your device. Then the next text said that my device is currently not affected by any network changes.

    This old metro phone is definitely not on at&t's whitelist. It does have VoLTE but the model number is not on either of the two lists. My conclusion is that when Four doesn't return the last-four of the imei, Tracfone doesn't know the imei.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jettable View Post
    I just texted Migrate to 611611. The first text I got in response talked about VoLTE. It said let's check your device. Then the next text said that my device is currently not affected by any network changes.

    This old metro phone is definitely not on at&t's whitelist. It does have VoLTE but the model number is not on either of the two lists. My conclusion is that when Four doesn't return the last-four of the imei, Tracfone doesn't know the imei.
    Does VoLTE work now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Senkoboy View Post
    Does VoLTE work now?
    Yes VoLTE works on the phone right now. However, it is an old metro phone, back from the days when it took only 3 months of service to unlock a metro phone. I checked the model number on both at&t whitelists and it is not listed on either of the lists. It is definitely an incompatible phone in at&t's view, but Tracfone doesn't seem to know the imei since Four returns the last four of the sim. I haven't received anything from Tracfone telling me that my phone is incompatible.

    This is my theory - if Four returns the last-four of the at&t byop sim, then a byop phone won't receive the incompatibility message even if the phone is incompatible with at&t's whitelists.

    I will assume that my theory is correct until I find a case that contradicts this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jettable View Post
    Tracfone doesn't seem to know the imei since Four returns the last four of the sim.

    I will assume that my theory is correct until I find a case that contradicts this.
    If you search the Internet, you'll find posts LIKE THIS that say the IMEI is sent to the carrier when your GSM phone connects to their tower. TF might not use your IMEI for the account number (which is what texting FOUR gets), but they and AT&T definitely know your IMEI.

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