Updated 20.07.2022

How to Blacklist a Stolen Phone

Knowing how to blacklist a stolen phone might save you money. Late last year, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) warned banking clients against the new risk which comes with mobile banking. A thief may gain access to your personal and confidential details by stealing your smartphone. The thief can then use these details to steal money from your account. This was during an annual report on the crimes committed. SABRIC is a non-profit company that helps the banking industry fight crimes perpetuated against its stakeholders. In this effort, it cooperates with these banking industry stakeholders.

How to Blacklist a Stolen Phone
Image Address:

Because of these sentiments, you can’t afford to risk your bank account or any other online wallet getting into the wrong hands. For this reason, you should blacklist a stolen or lost cell phone. Blacklisting prevents access to your details and the use of your device in criminal activity. This article will cover everything you need about blacklisting a mobile phone. Additionally, it was recently revealed by Cellucity owner Sean Joffe in an interview with broadband that there is a loophole. Criminals can still use blacklisted dual SIM cell phones with only one IMEI number to commit a crime. Thus, if your device was dual SIM, it is advisable to blacklist both IMEI numbers. 

What to do Immediately Your Phone Gets Stolen or Lost

  1. The first step is to contact your cellular service provider. The contacts for different cellular service providers are listed below after these steps. 
  2. In some cases, you may be required to follow prompts once you call your provider. In other cases, you speak to customer services.
  3. Prompts will automatically blacklist the device you report lost or stolen. On the other hand, if you are speaking to customer service, inform them about the stolen or lost cell phone. 
  4. Ask customer service for your ITC reference number. To report a stolen device to South African Police Service (SAPS) or to claim cell phone insurance, you will need the ITC reference number. ITC is one of the partners in the prevention of digital crime. According to their website, ITC is a Credit Bureau that “empowers our clients to make the best credit decisions.” They “aim to make credit accessible, prevent fraud and reckless lending and encourage financial responsibility.”
  5. Using the ITC reference number, seek other services for lost and stolen mobile phones. To report a stolen cell phone, go to your nearest police station. To submit an insurance claim, talk to your cell phone insurer. 


To blacklist a cell phone with Vodacom:

  • From a Vodacom number, you can call 111 or,
  • Call 082-111 from a landline.

To block your Vodacom line, follow the prompts. They will request the following information:

  • You need the cell phone’s IMEI or serial number. To blacklist dual SIM cell phones, make sure you report both IMEI numbers. These numbers are on your cell phone’s box or online on your My Vodacom account if you have a contract. To get the numbers online, go to “My Account” on your homepage, select “Manage My Account” on the next options, then go to “Device and SIM.”
  • Secondly, your ID number will also be required.
  • Additionally, your physical address will be requested.
  • Lastly, an alternative contact number on which to contact you with progress on your blacklisted device.

Cell C

To blacklist a cell phone with Cell C:

  • Using a Cell C number, you can call 140 or,
  • Call 084-140 from other cell phone networks.


To blacklist a cell phone with MTN:

  • You can call 135 from an MTN number or,
  • Call 083-1-173 from other cell phone networks or from a landline.

What Happens When You Blacklist a Phone

When you inform your cellular service provider about a lost or stolen phone, the provider will register it as blacklisted. They then contact the ITC with this information. The ITC generates a reference number and, in turn, puts the handset in its registry. It then forwards the information to the EIR (Equipment Identification Register). The EIR forwards the information to the CEIR (Central Equipment Identity Register), an international body that acts as a central database for blacklisted devices. Once your IMEI is up on the EIR, it cannot be used even if the SIM card is changed.


Cell phones are fundamental to everyday life in the modern world. They help you communicate, keep you in touch with your social circle, let you organize your personal finances, give you real-time updates on your favorite news, give you access to internet education, get you entertained in your free time, and even tell you the time. As a consequence, smartphones have your personal and confidential information. However, personal and confidential information can be damaging if they get into the wrong hands. That is why blacklisting lost or stolen phones as soon as possible is important.

As a preventative measure, consider buying smartphones that offer secure data encryption. It is one of the best ways to protect your personal and confidential information. These handsets are, however, quite expensive. But for your money’s worth, in addition to offering the best security, they offer the best experience. Losing such a device or having it stolen can result in a huge financial setback. To cushion against these setbacks, you should also consider getting cell phone insurance. Cell phone insurers will replace your stolen device after you report it missing or stolen.