Partnering With Law Enforcement

ecoATM provides a safe, secure and innovative way for consumers to recycle used cell phones. We set the standard across the nation for the highest level of transparency and cooperation with law enforcement.

We have invested a significant amount of effort and resources, while listening to our law enforcement partners, to implement several layers of technology and processes to reduce the likelihood that an ecoATM kiosk will buy a stolen device. In the rare occurrence when a stolen device slips through our screening process at the point of sale, we always notify law enforcement of the transaction. We will also return the device to law enforcement/victim at no cost, provide a detailed transaction report with photographs, and a copy of the seller’s ID and thumbprint to assist with the investigation—all without the need for a search warrant or subpoena. Our deterrence measures include: high resolution security cretameras monitored in real time; real time ID verifications by a live, remote attendant; NIST compliant thumbprint capture; a state-of-the-art ID card authenticator/scanner; a warning to all sellers that their information will be reported to law enforcement; running valuable devices through and rejecting the transaction if the device has been reported stolen by a cell phone carrier; screening iPhones for activation lock and rejecting the transaction if the seller is unable to enter the appropriate password to turn off activation lock; banning any seller (post-event) who sells a stolen device at our kiosk; working with law enforcement and setting up “do not buy” lists of individuals; deploying algorithms and analytics to identify suspicious transactions based upon selling patterns; and flagging devices and/or individuals to alert law enforcement of suspicious transactions. As an additional security practice we maintain a nationwide voluntary 30-day hold on any phone collected, which has been proven to assist law enforcement in identifying any unreported stolen phone. In communities all across the country, ecoATM is helping law enforcement identify and capture cell phone thieves and reunite victims of cell phone theft with their stolen property.

Security Features and Processes


Step 1

Human Validation

It’s often thought that ecoATM operates completely on its own, but that’s untrue. Every ecoATM transaction is carefully monitored by real-time humans. These ecoATM employees visually verify that every customer matches the photograph on their ID and has provided their  thumbprint at the kiosk before the customer can proceed.

Step 1

ID Scan and Validation

To complete a transaction, ecoATM customers must present a valid, state-issued ID to the kiosk, and they must be over the age of 18. We use state of the art ID scanner and validation software that not only photographs the ID, but it validates authenticity by examining the ID for holograms, watermarks or other specific authentication methods used across the country. Customers cannot proceed or be paid without a valid ID.

Step 1

Thumbprint Capture

In addition to having a valid ID, ecoATM customers must provide a valid thumbprint. ecoATM uses the newest thumbprint reading technology to ensure a valid thumbprint is captured during every transaction. The software validates the captured thumbprint to make sure it is legible and acceptable by industry standards. Customers cannot proceed or be paid without a valid thumbprint.

Step 1

Reporting Transactions

ecoATM voluntarily reports all transactions in any fashion requested by law enforcement including mail, fax, searchable databases, LeadsOnline or Business Watch International (BWI), or other reporting mechanisms.

Step 1

Requested Materials

ecoATM is happy to provide full cooperation when contacted by local law enforcement. We can:

  • Return lost or stolen devices
  • Provide transaction reports and details

Step 1

30 Day Hold

ecoATM voluntarily holds all inventory for a minimum of 30 days from the collection date before moving the devices to our buyers from our offices in San Diego, California. ecoATM follows any applicable laws that require longer holding periods for select locations.

Step 1

Returning Stolen Devices

ecoATM responds quickly and diligently to any request from law enforcement to research and/or return any reported stolen items that may have been collected by ecoATM. Our top priority when working with police officers is to return stolen phones to victims of theft. If you have questions regarding a stolen phone case, please contact Customer Service.

Have a Question for our Regulatory Affairs Department?

Sean Flaherty

Regulatory Affairs Counsel

Direct: 858-766-7250


Nicole Wagner

Regulatory Affairs Council