Stealing phones is on the rise in Costa Rica; and that’s an understatement. Take a look at these numbers. 70,000 cell phones were stolen in 2017 and 164,000 were stolen this year.
One of the possible factors in this figure more than doubling is that this year we did not see the preventive campaigns that we saw last year about how to protect your phones. These campaigns were aimed at new mobile users and shared safety tips.
Periodically, checks are made at pawn shops to look for phones reported stolen, still, many are resold. Sutel recommends always checking the IMEI of the device personally so as to avoid surprises, like a phone that is blocked from another using it. To check the IMEI, put *#06# on the call screen and it will pop up.
Phones brought to Costa Rica must be unlocked due to current legislation. This is meant to help consumers, allowing them to choose whichever carrier they prefer. It also attracted the attention of people looking to steal phones to sell overseas, as unlocked ones are much easier to sell.