Handphone ownership in Singapore has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. Not only has this resulted in a vibrant handphone resale industry, in which handphones are bought and sold via secondhand dealers, but handphones have also become a target for thieves.
The Handphone IMEI Tracing System (HITS), an online handphone screening service, was developed and launched in 2006 to deter handphone thieves from selling off stolen handphones to secondhand dealers and the public. HITS system uses each handphone’s unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number to identify handphones which have been reported stolen.
Where screenings could only be done via the Internet previously (accessible via Police’s e-Services webpage), the HITS system has now been enhanced to allow for screenings to be easily done via Short-Message-Service (SMS) as well.
Members of the public and secondhand dealers can easily check if the secondhand phones they are about to purchase have been reported stolen or lost via the Internet and SMS. Through this enhancement, the Police hope to deter handphone related crimes by providing a more convenient and effective avenue for members of the public to perform IMEI screening.
For Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, Employment Pass and Work Permit holders, an SMS screening can be performed by sending “SPFHITSNRIC No/FIN NoIMEI No” to 74688. For others, simply send “SPFHITSIdentity NoOIMEI No” to 74688. Normal SMS charges apply.
If the screening result is “WANTED“, members of the public are advised to proceed to any Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) or Neighbourhood Police Post (NPP) to lodge a Police report immediately. Members of the public are also advised that it is an offence to retain a handphone that has been reported stolen or lost.
You are strongly urged to screen the IMEI number before purchasing any secondhand phones and play their part to deter crime.
Source: Singapore Police