Skip to comments.Buying a used phone? Beware of this common scam no one wants to talk about
Posted on 02/13/2018 10:18:03 PM PST by Swordmaker
Maybe your phone is scratched up, the battery wont hold a charge anymore, or youre just plain sick of it. Whatever the reason, you start to shop around for a new phone, but all your budget will allow is a bland, mid-range device. So you hop online to see what kind of bargain you can pick up second hand. Someone is selling last years flagship iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, barely used, at a drastically lower price. You pounce and secure yourself a shiny new smartphone at a steal.
The phone arrives in a couple of days, as described, and you pat yourself on the back for your bargain-hunting skills. But you cant activate it. Or maybe you use it for a month or so, and then it gets blocked. Upon further investigation, you realize your new phone has been reported lost or stolen. The seller wont respond to your messages. To make matters worse, no one wants to help you not your carrier, not the website you bought on, not even the police.
The used phone scam is frighteningly simple.
Were sorry to say, youve fallen victim to a horrifyingly common used phone scam. A quick Google search reveals countless threads on forums across the world going back years, where victims appeal for help because they bought a phone that turned out to be blacklisted and unusable. Read through them and youll see the vast majority dont have a happy ending. The victim typically has to eat the loss, with no prospect of getting their money back.
The used phone scam is particularly pernicious, because it doesnt rely on a victims gullibility, and its not as well-known as something like the white van speaker scam. Everything appears to be perfectly legitimate right up to the point your new phone gets blocked. If it has happened to you, sadly theres nothing we can do to help you, but read on if you want to learn more about the scam and how to avoid it in future.
This is an excerpt, read more here.
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The last new phones that my wife and I purchased were HTC Touch Pro IIs in late 2009. Every phone since has been a used phone... most from highly rated sellers on eBay. All of them have been a fraction of the price of an equivalent new phone. They have all looked basically new. We have never had a problem with any of them.
Seems like there should be a blockchain solution to establish clear title to devices with unique serial numbers.
Daughter’s boyfriend works at Apple. ‘Nuff said.
Never buy a used phone.
Never sell a used phone.
Never sell a used phone.
Nope. I use the HRC method and beat them with hammers.
You will be closer to the Modesto Apple store I think. . . In Vintage Faire Mall. Its probably a tossup with Arden Fair Store.
You are right. Modesto is closer.
If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
Ive bought and sold many iPhones on eBay - never had a problem.
Yup, eBay makes it easy. Clean esn or bad esn in the title treks what you need to know.
If you buy off Craigs list, meet at your local wireless retailer and make sure it’s good and not under contract before giving them any money.
I bought a used cable modem on Craigslist that they wouldn’t activate as belonging to someone else or something. Well, after I left a message the guy changed his number! Hilarious since he came to the meet in his work truck. After I contacted his main office he decided to return the money.
I have a rotary dial phone that is pulled around on a little 2-wheeled cart which also has a hand-crank generator for power. Don’t have to activate anything and hateful teenage hackers in the malls give me dirty looks for the sign on the back of the cart which reads, “Hack this!”.
I had an LG phone from Sprint that stopped work a day after the warranty expired. I could make and receive calls and I could hear the other person but they couldnt hear me. I tried to get them to fix it and we went back and forth a couple of times and they agreed, not once but twice to ship me a refurbished phone for a small fee, but never did. As I had dumped my land line and my cell was and is my only phone, while I was waiting for a replacement that never came, I bought a used phone on eBay from a seller who had a good rating and good reviews.
But when I went to activated it turned up to be lost or stolen and couldnt be activated.
Fortunately, I contacted the eBay seller and he apologized and returned my money in full a day later.
I wouldnt do this again. I ended up cancelling my Sprint contract (their customer service was horrible), and went with ATT and got a new Samsung phone, and yes, I ponied up and got the insurance and a one year extended warranty.
“highly rated sellers on eBay”
Now thats funny, you left out Craigslists
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