As more and more people upgrade to the latest iPhone, there’s an increasing demand for second-hand devices. This, naturally, has led to fraudsters moving into the market as well.
Thousands of gadgets are bought and sold everyday including iPhones. There are many ways to fool a victim who is going to buy/sell a phone from/to a third-party seller/buyer. In this post we speak about the most popular ones.
- Low price and advanced payment
Be weary of buying items at heavily reduced discounts. These types of scams usually ask you for money up front so that you can’t refuse payment when the item arrives.advanced payment.
— Noor Ahmed (@noor5942) January 16, 2015
- Broken devices and phones made of wax and paper
Whilst the vast majority of shops are legitimate and legal, there’s a small selection of shops that may be out to deceive you. If you need to get a phone repaired, make sure its from a reputable shop that, ideally, has local reviews online. These are a great way of finding out how trust-worthy a shop is.
— AL.com Mobile (@ALcomMobile) December 31, 2014
- iPhone with Chinese roots… and Android OS
Many people wittingly buy cheap iPhone knock-offs as they’re cheap. However, many more people are duped into buying fake phones that look just like the original. The problem here is that people believe they’re getting a cheap iPhone when in actual fact, they’re receiving a cheap copy. These are also occasional loaded with malware as well.
It’s hugely important to check before you buy and if you’re not happy, don’t spend the money!
— Cst. McCarthy @ TPS (@OfficerMcCarthy) November 27, 2014
- Stolen devices
If you are going to buy a second-hand iPhone there is a good chance that an unfair salesman will sell you a stolen device. Whilst there’s no way of being 100% sure before purchase, there are some points you can check: Read other buyers reviews regarding the seller: are other people reporting stolen devices? Check the sellers other items; is there anything odd about what they’re selling (lots of cheap phones etc.) If you do decide to buy, check the serial number, IMEI on the box and on the phone. If these don’t match, chances are the device was stolen.
Three attempts to purchase a second-hand iPhone have resulted in dealing with dodgy characters, eBay investigations and fraud. Given up.
— Orestis Bastounis (@MrBastounis) November 10, 2011
- Refurbished devices
You can save money (and be sure the phone is legitimate) by buying a refurbished model. These are usually phones that have been returned by a previous buyer. Whilst you’re not getting a brand-new device, you can rest-assured that the machine you’re getting is real and will work as intended.
- Remote lock and blackmail
Be wary of scams after purchase. Some criminals may try to blackmail you by locking the device after selling it to you (this can be done through the iPhone options). One way to get around this is to make sure you do a full factory reset straight after purchase.
This also works the other way around: if you’re selling a phone, it’s important that you fully wipe the device of all photos, videos and personal details. Remember, the only way to be 100% is by doing a full factory reset. This will reset everything and wipe all storage on the device.
Brit's iPhone stolen on holiday..now thief threatens to leak sex snaps of owner's girlfriend if he isn't paid £1,600: http://t.co/oh1rRumrWR
— The Scottish Sun (@ScottishSun) September 21, 2014
- Fake shops and unfair sellers/buyers
Fraudsters can even create day-fly websites that are in fact fake online shops to scoop up information about credit cards. The situation can also get upside down and a person who sells an iPhone can become a victim: a ‘consumer’ can send no money in return or request the detailed banking information allegedly for money transfer. In fact this data can be used to steal money from your credit card.
I can’t sell my iPhone 5. Everyone who tries is either too stupid to live or is trying to commit fraud. http://t.co/CaRbvibXqf
— Aaron Vegh (@aaronvegh) October 4, 2014
- Robbery, counterfeit notes, cheating and other frauds
If you are buying a second hand iPhone from a local seller arrange a meeting at a public place. When you’re handed the device, make sure it works by testing it out with either Wi-Fi or by bringing along a SIM card to test it on. Of course this advice works for all devices but remember that Apple devices tend to hold their value so are targeted more often by fraudsters.