The nation's largest wireless carrier filed a petition with the agency on Friday asking the FCC to grant it a waiver so that it can start locking new phones it sells to consumers for a period of 60 days.

Verizon said it's taking this action to deter criminals, who have been stealing customers' identities, and ordering new phones under those names, and then reselling them on the black market.

Verizon says this is a huge and growing problem that cost the company $190 million in 2018.

This figure was up from about $115 million in 2017.

The company said that more than 7,000 customers per month were affected by such thefts in 2018.

"As a result of this activity, these customers have to deal with the inconvenience and hassle of identity theft, and Verizon sustains financial losses," Ronan Dunne, executive vice president and president of Verizon Wireless said in a blog post.

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