I ordered a Nokia phone online and it turned out that the packet had been tampered and the phone was missing from the package. Obviously it does not have a SIM card, etc.

I assume someone stole it and is using the phone with a new SIM card. Is there any way that the phone can be tracked ?

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    Why track it? Work with the vendor to replace the missing merchandise. This is a shipping problem, not a security issue. – schroeder Jul 14 '14 at 14:42
  • @schroeder While this is the correct advice under the circumstances — it's not up to Anil to track the phone — the question of how to track a phone with an off-the-shelf software installation and no user personalization is on-topic here. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 14 '14 at 16:00
  • @Gilles The OP's question is how to track a phone that the OP has never had his hands on. The most that can be done is for the police to coordinate with telco's to retrieve stolen merchandise. – schroeder Jul 14 '14 at 17:15
  • I'm kind-of on the fence, here. The question really does present itself as an XY Problem. However, even though the proper solution to our "problem X" is out-of-scope for this site, a question about the "solution Y" could still have value. – Iszi Jul 14 '14 at 20:44

First things first.

Since your package was tampered with, I do not expect you to have any details of the phone like the IMEI number, etc. Register a complaint with the website that you purchased the phone from. Even if you go to the police, they are going to ask you to talk with them first anyway. I suggest you talk to a senior customer care executive, which would be more efficient than just sending complaint mail.

Dive right in to the What Next? category. Follow the instructions given by the responsible people. Then file a police complaint if necessary. If you happen to know the vital details such as an IMEI from them, you have some base to search on.

There are many options available online to track a lost mobile phone by its IMEI number. If possible try it with your mobile company. They might have an advanced option to find it.

Failed Delivery:

But honestly, how did you even accept anything that has been tampered with? Even if something like this happens, isn't it a failed delivery and the website holds responsibility for it?

I hope you did not sign the received receipt. If you have, I am afraid that you have no assurance for getting genuine help from the website, or worse, anyone.

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    I would like to add if the package wasn't obviously tampered with when you signed if the website won't help you may be able to get something from UPS or FedEx both have a $100 insurance standard on any package that isn't delivered by one of their economy options (ones where the final delivery is by USPS, FedEx calls this SmartPost). – Travis Pessetto Jul 14 '14 at 15:01

Yes, but I don't know if you will be authorized to do it. There should be an IMEI number on the tampered box. All you can do is take it to the nearest police station and file a case for it. Hopefully they will track down the thief by it.

Above all, you should not have accepted the package if it was tampered. Now, File a case on the website and I am sure they will help you out with it.

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I don't know about in India, but in Australia you can report the phone to the carrier as stolen or lost and they will block the phone so it cannot be used. Doesn't really help with getting it back or locating it, but at least it becomes valueless to the thief.

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  • Welcome to Information Security. I wonder how do they block it they cannot locate it? – Ebenezar John Paul Jul 14 '14 at 10:24
  • They block the IMEI on the network. – ntremble Jul 14 '14 at 10:27
  • Thats done here[in india] as well. – Arun Jul 14 '14 at 10:29
  • Thanks for the information. Just have one doubt. When a network provider finds the mobile with the stolen IMEI number, they block it right. Is it not easy for a network provider to locate the device trying to access their network before blocking it? – Ebenezar John Paul Jul 14 '14 at 10:33
  • That's where the police come in. You can get it blocked, the police may be able to trace it. Again, Indian law may differ. – ntremble Jul 14 '14 at 10:36

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