Verizon will lock phones for 60 days2019-06-26 17:39 by Daniela
Tags: Verizon, phone
The Federal Communications Commission has granted Verizon permission to keep newly purchased phones locked to its network for a period of 60 days. The company claims that this is meant to prevent fraud and identity theft.
"Verizon plans to implement a short, 60 day fraud safety check period, which will go into effect very soon," said Verizon CEO Ronan Dunne. "After the 60 day period the phones will unlock automatically. That means, fraudsters who order and steal phones — clearly with no intention of ever paying for them will have a much harder time."
In February when verizon filed for the waiver, Verizon explained in a blog post that it was taking the action to deter criminals from stealing customers' identities to order new phones under false names and resell them. Unlocked phones are easy targets for thieves because they can be resold and work on any network.
According to Verizon, the number of customers adversely impacted by identity theft on average per month increased 46% from 4,800 in 2017 to 7,000 per month in 2018. The problem is also having a financial impact, with Verizon indicating handset fraud cost the company about $190 million in 2018 and the carrier lost nearly 210,000 devices. Verizon argued that the trends continue, with handset fraud costing the company $34 million in January of this year, a 93% jump from January 2018.
Meanwhile, phones sold by competitors like AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint come locked. AT&T requires you to pay off your phone and be active on your service for at least 60 days. Even then, there's a 14-day wait after you make your request. Sprint also requires that you've paid off your phone and wait 50 days, though the phone is automatically unlocked. T-Mobile has the same paid device requirement and a 40-day wait period but will offer to temporarily unlock the device sooner for travel.
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