What is a burner phone?
It’s a device that transmits a signal to other phones in a neighborhood, which then converts it into a signal that can be picked up by nearby phones.
What makes it unique?
According to the Federal Communications Commission, a burner telephone is a device “that allows other people to listen to and/or record a conversation with someone using a burner cellphone” in a location where it can be used for a long-distance telephone call.
The FCC also notes that “batteries in portable cell phones are considered devices for which the Federal Communication Commission has classified as hazardous waste.”
What do you do if you lose your phone?
If your phone is lost or stolen, the FCC recommends you contact the phone manufacturer to make sure the phone is still working.
For more information, see the FCC’s FAQ about lost or damaged cell phones.
Are there any penalties for battery theft?
Battery theft isn’t a federal crime, but the FCC does have penalties for violations of the law.
For example, the commission says you can be fined up to $10,000 if you have a phone with a faulty battery and are using it to commit a crime.
The phone company can also be fined if it knowingly sells or gives away a defective battery.
If you’re caught with a battery in your pocket, you can get a temporary restraining order, or TRO, to prevent you from using the phone for a year.
If your device is lost and stolen, it can also get a repair or replacement.
You can also sue a cell phone manufacturer for violating the FTC Act.
You’ll also likely be able to sue the phone company to get your phone back if you find it in the wrong place.
You should always check your state’s consumer protection laws before using a cell tower.
Do you need a burner or cellphone charger?
According a 2007 Federal Communications Board report, cell phones can be “incompatible” with a burner because the batteries in phones can’t be charged and that’s why they don’t transmit their signal.
If a burner is lost, stolen or damaged, it may be hard to determine whether your phone was compatible with the burner.
A 2009 report from the Consumer Electronics Association says a burner can “provide the ability to make and receive calls using a conventional cell phone” and that “burners are generally not intended for use as portable cell phone towers.”
How do you keep your phone safe?
Keep your cell phone safe by not touching it, or by using a good case of common sense.
Always check the FCC website for current information about how to protect your phone and other personal belongings, such as your wallet and keys.
It’s also a good idea to always use a cell-phone charger or battery cover that will protect your cellphones battery.
Learn more about cell phone safety.
If cell phone theft is a problem for you, check with your state attorney general’s office.