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Verizon says phone-sale fraud is up, wants to lock new phones to fight it

Monday February 25, 2019. 09:41 PM , from Ars Technica
Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Peter Dazeley)
Verizon—the only major US mobile carrier that routinely sells unlocked 4G LTE phones to consumers—last week asked for government permission to lock its phones for 60 days after purchase.
An unlocked phone can be used by a consumer on any carrier's network (as long as the phone and network are compatible), while a locked phone can only be used with the carrier that applied the lock. Verizon's phones are unlocked because of open-access rules the Federal Communications Commission applied to 700MHz spectrum that Verizon bought at auction in 2008.
That could change if the FCC grants Verizon's request to let the carrier lock phones for 60 days in order to deter fraud when people buy phones on payment plans that require little or no down payment.
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