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MacRumors
Jul 6, 2012, 11:32 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/06/att-unveiling-new-blocking-service-for-stolen-phones-next-week/)


Originally announced (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/04/10/major-u-s-carriers-agree-to-develop-centralized-database-to-track-stolen-mobile-phones/) this past April, AT&T will unveil a database of stolen phones to prevent lost devices from connecting to the carrier's network. The Verge reported (http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/6/3140670/at-t-block-stolen-phones) the launch with a leaked internal AT&T screenshot showing a launch date of July 10, 2012.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/07/NewImage1.png


AT&T issued this statement to MacRumors:
As announced in April, AT&T is creating a stolen phone database to prevent devices reported stolen from accessing wireless networks. We will install this availability next week for AT&T phones on our network and are working toward a cross-carrier solution later this year.The Verge notes (http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/6/3140670/at-t-block-stolen-phones) that AT&T's guidance for staffers says "only the person who originated a block may request block removal". It's unclear how exactly the database will work, including preventing legitimate transfers in ownership from being flagged by malicious actors, but we expect to have more details from AT&T as the launch date for the stolen phone database comes closer.

Article Link: AT&T Unveiling New Blocking Service for Stolen Phones Next Week (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/06/att-unveiling-new-blocking-service-for-stolen-phones-next-week/)



Treq
Jul 6, 2012, 11:34 AM
I imagine this will be used in some nasty divorces.

mac 2005
Jul 6, 2012, 11:35 AM
All I can say is: About time.

How many thousands of phones have been stolen over the years, only for AT&T to simply allow the thief to activate them and the victim to have to pay full freight for a new phone. Hopefully, this move will be adopted by other carriers and make cellphones less attractive to thieves.

FSMBP
Jul 6, 2012, 11:36 AM
Like the Find My iPhone feature, this is amazing but I hope I'll never have to use it.

boccabella
Jul 6, 2012, 11:38 AM
Yeah, no chance of this turning into a fiasco.

iVoid
Jul 6, 2012, 11:38 AM
It's about time. Apple should have already done this.

OrangeSVTguy
Jul 6, 2012, 11:39 AM
What's stopping these thieves from selling internationally or using other carriers?

mac.cali
Jul 6, 2012, 11:39 AM
Haven't other carieers been doing this for years?

dontwalkhand
Jul 6, 2012, 11:39 AM
What's to stop you from unlocking it and using it on another carrier/ship it somewhere else?

I guess it also means blocked from all AT&T MVNOs like Straight Talk

srxtr
Jul 6, 2012, 11:40 AM
Right step, but this won't help the original owner in retrieving the stolen phone.

Need to teach those thieves a lesson

miles01110
Jul 6, 2012, 11:40 AM
Good idea in principle, but there's going to be a lot of problems as far as illegitimate denials of service, scams, etc. I also doubt the number of stolen phones makes this worth the cost of implementing.

dontwalkhand
Jul 6, 2012, 11:40 AM
Haven't other carieers been doing this for years?
CDMA, never a GSM carrier. This would stop you from just putting in another SIM card and using it.

xhArRiSoNxD
Jul 6, 2012, 11:48 AM
This is great. But I have an unlocked phone on T-Mobile. Can I still call them and say my phone is stolen?



What's to stop you from unlocking it and using it on another carrier/ship it somewhere else?

I guess it also means blocked from all AT&T MVNOs like Straight Talk


They won't/shouldn't be able to unlock it after it is stolen because AT&T does the unlocking. So they just look up in their database if the phone was reported stolen before they do your unlock request. Simple. Now that's one way of getting revenge of your stolen iPhone!

dewso
Jul 6, 2012, 11:50 AM
CDMA, never a GSM carrier. This would stop you from just putting in another SIM card and using it.

We've had this in Australia across all carriers since the birth of GSM, same with Europe.

LimeiBook86
Jul 6, 2012, 11:50 AM
I wonder if my first 4GB iPhone (model 1) can now be officially banned on AT&T. It was stolen years ago, AT&T then said there was no policy in place on stolen phones. I still have the iPhone's serial # and such, it's worth a shot. I wouldn't be surprised if it was still being used. :rolleyes:

JRSAHLBERG
Jul 6, 2012, 11:51 AM
That's great, but we should have something like an "universal blacklist" shared between all carriers in the world...

dvdlovr24
Jul 6, 2012, 11:51 AM
Nextel was able to do this 10 years ago when I worked there and they were SIM card based just not GSM.

jmcguckin
Jul 6, 2012, 11:51 AM
I couldn't help but notice the bullet reading "The line is automatically be suspended if..."- sorry, but you'd think AT&T would've proofread this prior to sending it out.

iMikeT
Jul 6, 2012, 11:53 AM
How about bringing back truly unlimited, unthrottled data AT&T?

Obese Lobsters
Jul 6, 2012, 11:53 AM
What about people that are buying used phones? What's to stop the owner to claim their phone was stolen after the sale?

chainprayer
Jul 6, 2012, 11:54 AM
Maybe they can remotely set the battery on fire ;)

Vizin
Jul 6, 2012, 11:55 AM
.

Porco
Jul 6, 2012, 11:55 AM
This sounds like it could be a good step, but I do think Apple could design a nice solution of their own, perhaps giving an option to remotely brick your phone through your Apple ID account, when associated with it. It could ask you if you're really sure etc... but it would solve the problem of worrying about 'malicious actors' (insert your favourite bad movie star joke here).

seamer
Jul 6, 2012, 11:56 AM
Good intention, wrong process.

Let the stolen phone be activated and then send the gps/tower coordinates to your local PD. :D or hold the coords and see if there is a pattern in location before sending in the cavalry.

Remote wipe feature is useless. Can pull all data and reset the phone before owner even realizes.

Caliber26
Jul 6, 2012, 11:58 AM
I couldn't help but notice the bullet reading "The line is automatically be suspended if..."- sorry, but you'd think AT&T would've proofread this prior to sending it out.

I was thinking the same thing. Little mistakes like that peeve me to no end.

On another note, could someone sell their phone on Craigslist to an honest buyer and then turn around and report it stolen and leave the buyer with a useless phone?

TonyC28
Jul 6, 2012, 11:58 AM
What about people that are buying used phones? What's to stop the owner to claim their phone was stolen after the sale?

Assuming some type of police report is required to start this process, I would think the fact that filing a false police report is a crime would be the deterrent to stop people from doing that. I certainly hope that a person can't just walk into AT&T and say "my phone was stolen" and AT&T just adds it to the system based on their word.

poloponies
Jul 6, 2012, 11:59 AM
Right step, but this won't help the original owner in retrieving the stolen phone.

Need to teach those thieves a lesson

Because that's an efficient use of police resources?

Caliber26
Jul 6, 2012, 12:00 PM
How about bringing back truly unlimited, unthrottled data AT&T?

Apple will include an optical disc drive in the next generation of MacBook Airs before AT&T brings back unlimited data. :rolleyes:

Dionte
Jul 6, 2012, 12:00 PM
My moms phone was stolen a couple months ago, I hope we can still add it to the list.

gsugolfer
Jul 6, 2012, 12:01 PM
Why all the hate and distrust over the process? Verizon, for one, has been doing this for a long time.

I was shocked when I considered purchasing an ATT iPhone to find out that they DIDN'T do it. Needless to say, I didn't buy the phone and I remain with Verizon.

i-John
Jul 6, 2012, 12:03 PM
Assuming some type of police report is required to start this process, I would think the fact that filing a false police report is a crime would be the deterrent to stop people from doing that. I certainly hope that a person can't just walk into AT&T and say "my phone was stolen" and AT&T just adds it to the system based on their word.

Wouldn't need it. I am sure the account holder has to be the one reporting it. You can report your phone stolen now without any verification, as long as it's your phone.

/dev/toaster
Jul 6, 2012, 12:04 PM
Good intention, wrong process.

Let the stolen phone be activated and then send the gps/tower coordinates to your local PD. :D or hold the coords and see if there is a pattern in location before sending in the cavalry.

Remote wipe feature is useless. Can pull all data and reset the phone before owner even realizes.

Most police departments are very busy, they don't have time for this. Hell even trying to get them to follow a "find my iPhone" signal is rough. I have cop friends in large cities that get 10 - 20 reports a day of stolen phones. (Their district, not the whole city) They don't have the resources to do anything besides write a report and hope it turns up later.

Not to mention, just getting the location won't do much. How do you track down a single phone in an area of thousands of people ?

If they were to go this direction, it would become as useful as lojack ended up being. Cops had them in the cars, but they more or less ignored them. It was far too much effort to track down a single stolen car. They would rather it pop up in front of them.

TonyC28
Jul 6, 2012, 12:06 PM
Wouldn't need it. I am sure the account holder has to be the one reporting it. You can report your phone stolen now without any verification, as long as it's your phone.

If that's the case then I would be very hesitant to buy a used phone from someone I didn't know.

i-John
Jul 6, 2012, 12:07 PM
Why all the hate and distrust over the process? Verizon, for one, has been doing this for a long time.

I was shocked when I considered purchasing an ATT iPhone to find out that they DIDN'T do it. Needless to say, I didn't buy the phone and I remain with Verizon.

Verizon and Sprint, because of their networks can track the phones easier, so it's a lot easier for them to block (since you can't use their phones on another network anyway)

All carriers announced in April that they are going to keep their own databases and then merge it into a national database of stolen phones to prevent use of stolen phones.

Carlanga
Jul 6, 2012, 12:08 PM
FINALLY!

http://partner-ad.photobucket.com/albums/g409/jactrades/Gifs%20and%20Macros/Positive%20Response%20Gifs/OrsonWellsApplause.gif

BSoares
Jul 6, 2012, 12:11 PM
I wonder how they will know you are saying the truth. Otherwise I could give someone else's SN or IMEI and have their phone blocked? Or what if you tell them your numbers and they mistype? A different phone would be blocked?

Not sure how well this could work, maybe they should do this: you bring your phone to a store now that you have it, they see you really have the phone in your possession, enter it into your account and then if you ever call to block it, they will know you really had the phone and aren't lying.

rei101
Jul 6, 2012, 12:12 PM
What's stopping these thieves from selling internationally or using other carriers?

But the rate of individuals doing that is minimum in comparison. How many kids in school or other individuals are using stolen phones in the US?

I believe is a good initiative.

In my home country, Venezuela, is normal for you to be killed for a BlackBerry just because carriers do not block stolen phones, there is a huge market for them.

jaw04005
Jul 6, 2012, 12:13 PM
Apple needs to do this. You stole my phone? OK, but good luck getting on the iTunes Store or App Store with a stolen device.

boshii
Jul 6, 2012, 12:13 PM
If that's the case then I would be very hesitant to buy a used phone from someone I didn't know.

If it's bought from Craigslist just do the transaction at an AT&T store.

On eBay, you'll easily get your money back by filing a dispute.

Rodimus Prime
Jul 6, 2012, 12:14 PM
Took them long enough. This should of been in place well before the first iPhone even hit the market.

kniemann
Jul 6, 2012, 12:16 PM
Oh crap! I'm going to need a new line of work :/

Rodimus Prime
Jul 6, 2012, 12:16 PM
Good idea in principle, but there's going to be a lot of problems as far as illegitimate denials of service, scams, etc. I also doubt the number of stolen phones makes this worth the cost of implementing.

What they need is a world wide shared DB that can have blacklisted phone in it. Sad part is the US is years behind the rest of the world on this front.

charlituna
Jul 6, 2012, 12:18 PM
only for AT&T to simply allow the thief to activate them and the victim to have to pay full freight for a new phone.


Nothing has been said about letting the former owner get a replacement at least than the cost the contract status demands. For all we know, there won't be. You lose your phone even by thief and you'll pay up to full price and have to deal with not having insurance etc to cover the costs

Diode
Jul 6, 2012, 12:19 PM
As long as they add a fairly easy way for users to check a devices legitimacy before buying I have no problem with this.

charlituna
Jul 6, 2012, 12:19 PM
It's about time. Apple should have already done this.

Apple isn't doing it now. They have always and will likely always be hands off on issues of lost and theft outside of the times that someone actually files a police report and the police request they do something.

Diode
Jul 6, 2012, 12:20 PM
What they need is a world wide shared DB that can have blacklisted phone in it. Sad part is the US is years behind the rest of the world on this front.

The EU carriers already maintain such a list.

charlituna
Jul 6, 2012, 12:22 PM
They won't/shouldn't be able to unlock it after it is stolen because AT&T does the unlocking.

only if someone wants it 'legally' unlocked. And if someone is devious enough to steal a phone or at least refrain from returning a lost one, they are probably devious enough to use unauthorized methods to unlock it and then sell it for a song.

----------

I wonder if my first 4GB iPhone (model 1) can now be officially banned on AT&T. It was stolen years ago, AT&T then said there was no policy in place on stolen phones.

Knowing them you can only file on the phone that is currently linked to your line. That linkage validating your ownership of the unit.

Battlefield Fan
Jul 6, 2012, 12:23 PM
If only I had this last October!!!

charlituna
Jul 6, 2012, 12:27 PM
perhaps giving an option to remotely brick your phone through your Apple ID account, when associated with it.


Already basically exists. It's called Find My iPhone and it is in iCloud. Trouble is that all one has to do is restore the phone and it is back in order.

Apple maintains their place out of this whole recovery game because they have neither the time nor the inclination to try to validate claims of theft etc. It's too easy for you to piss me off so I claim you stole the phone that I bought you to jerk you around and Apple wants to avoid that. They are not the cops after all. And don't want to be any more than they want to be your ISP, your cell carrier etc.

The best you can hope for with Apple is that this ATT thing forces folks to unauthorized unlock the phones which will brick them and Apple will catch that that is what happened and deny all service to the current owner. Lesson learned for the guy that bought it from some dude on Craigslist etc

Gubbz
Jul 6, 2012, 12:29 PM
I've been saying this for years and I can't believe a carrier has only just come up with it... Surely ALL phones have an identifier, like computers have MAC addresses, surely phones something similar, something that isn't via the SIM card, thus enabling the carriers to (a) pinpoint any phone reported stolen and (b) cease all communication to cellular network except tracking. If it was able to go via a hardware identifier, then even iPhones stolen from the shops could be bricked as Apple would surely have a list of codes... Lets face it, Apple have them serialised and each serial number in unique.

kiljoy616
Jul 6, 2012, 12:29 PM
Haven't other carieers been doing this for years?

You tell us!:rolleyes:

BMNB1tch
Jul 6, 2012, 12:30 PM
I'm in your network claiming your phone is stolen

:D

charlituna
Jul 6, 2012, 12:34 PM
Apple needs to do this. You stole my phone? OK, but good luck getting on the iTunes Store or App Store with a stolen device.

Trouble with that notion is that anything you can buy from said sources can be done with a computer and synced over. So blocking such access does nothing.

deftdrummer
Jul 6, 2012, 12:35 PM
Nothing has been said about letting the former owner get a replacement at least than the cost the contract status demands. For all we know, there won't be. You lose your phone even by thief and you'll pay up to full price and have to deal with not having insurance etc to cover the costs
Renters insurance, home owners insurance, Private electronics insurance. Your options are virtually limitless but saying "whaaa my phone got stolen how can you help ME!??" after the fact is not one of them.

iMikeT
Jul 6, 2012, 12:39 PM
Apple will include an optical disc drive in the next generation of MacBook Airs before AT&T brings back unlimited data. :rolleyes:


Actually, Apple all ready has an ODD in the MacBook Air. Apple has found a way to get the iSight camera to read the data of optical disks by holding them in front of the camera. :eek:

So yes, you're right.

NachoGrande
Jul 6, 2012, 12:45 PM
Okay, looks like I won't be buying any phones off of eBay. I hope they at least require a police report.

gnasher729
Jul 6, 2012, 12:47 PM
Not to mention, just getting the location won't do much. How do you track down a single phone in an area of thousands of people ?

I wonder if it would be possible for Apple to do something. Some special software on an iPhone, available to the police, that lets them contact a stolen phone, and then they both check out what WiFi hotspots are there and their relative strength. WiFi might not be enough to get your precise location, but it might be good enough to see if two phones are in the same location. Phone A has hotspots X, Y and Z at strengths 73%, 45% and 19%, while Phone B has the same hotspots at strengths 39%, 58% and 25%. First iPhone does some magic calculation, tells the cop which direction to walk, until both phones agree and the cop handcuffs the thief.

aristotle
Jul 6, 2012, 12:49 PM
CDMA, never a GSM carrier. This would stop you from just putting in another SIM card and using it.
You should never ASSUME. The IMEI number can be black listed preventing the phone from being used on any GSM network.

Carriers in other countries do this all the time. It is just that the US is a little behind the times.

poloponies
Jul 6, 2012, 01:01 PM
I wonder if it would be possible for Apple to do something. Some special software on an iPhone, available to the police, that lets them contact a stolen phone, and then they both check out what WiFi hotspots are there and their relative strength. WiFi might not be enough to get your precise location, but it might be good enough to see if two phones are in the same location. Phone A has hotspots X, Y and Z at strengths 73%, 45% and 19%, while Phone B has the same hotspots at strengths 39%, 58% and 25%. First iPhone does some magic calculation, tells the cop which direction to walk, until both phones agree and the cop handcuffs the thief.

Who lives in this magical land where the police department sends cops out to investigate a phone theft? I've been burglarized and had items of significant value taken. I filled out a report, they told me to contact my insurance company and sent me on my merry way. No CSI team taking fingerprints or photos, no follow up calls or investigation. In my town (Chicago) we barely have enough police to handle violent crimes, but a single iPhone theft?

Diode
Jul 6, 2012, 01:02 PM
You should never ASSUME. The IMEI number can be black listed preventing the phone from being used on any GSM network.

Carriers in other countries do this all the time. It is just that the US is a little behind the times.

Not to mention the IMEI can also be used to block non allowed phones from joining a network.

Korea's networks use a IMEI whitelist to prevent non Korean residents from getting local SIM's. It can be done (for Foreigners) but it's a little tricky.

/dev/toaster
Jul 6, 2012, 01:05 PM
I wonder if it would be possible for Apple to do something. Some special software on an iPhone, available to the police, that lets them contact a stolen phone, and then they both check out what WiFi hotspots are there and their relative strength. WiFi might not be enough to get your precise location, but it might be good enough to see if two phones are in the same location. Phone A has hotspots X, Y and Z at strengths 73%, 45% and 19%, while Phone B has the same hotspots at strengths 39%, 58% and 25%. First iPhone does some magic calculation, tells the cop which direction to walk, until both phones agree and the cop handcuffs the thief.

Even if it was available, the police wouldn't use it most of the time. It is not worth the effort. For the most part they will only get charged with a misdemeanor possession of stolen property.

The police would only be interested in phones that were taken during a robbery. With the vast number of phones taken on a daily basis, there is no way to filter it out.

What AT&T is doing is the right thing. When stolen phones can't get activated, those who are buying them won't want to risk purchasing a brick. Which reduces the value of the item. Once there is no value, the criminals will find something else to steal.

This has been done in other countries and it has worked very well.

Shameless plug, I brought this topic up on X3 a few months ago. http://media.podshow.com/media/26639/episodes/313814/x3show-313814-04-20-2012.mp4 Since then, phone thefts have only increased more drastically.

ScubaCinci
Jul 6, 2012, 01:20 PM
Hmmm...wonder if this can be retroactive. My iPhone was stolen late last year. They should have had this service all along.

Mad-B-One
Jul 6, 2012, 01:22 PM
Like the Find My iPhone feature, this is amazing but I hope I'll never have to use it.

My wife uses it constantly to track me - especially at lunch time. Don't get me wrong: I usually come home for lunch. If not, I usually cannot tell her in advance, so, she just checks if I'm on my way or 25 miles away.

Another application is my disorganization: I frequently forget my phone. I use that so I can see where I left it and pick it up.

MACdaddy859
Jul 6, 2012, 01:25 PM
Most police departments are very busy, they don't have time for this. Hell even trying to get them to follow a "find my iPhone" signal is rough. I have cop friends in large cities that get 10 - 20 reports a day of stolen phones. (Their district, not the whole city) They don't have the resources to do anything besides write a report and hope it turns up later.

Not to mention, just getting the location won't do much. How do you track down a single phone in an area of thousands of people ?

If they were to go this direction, it would become as useful as lojack ended up being. Cops had them in the cars, but they more or less ignored them. It was far too much effort to track down a single stolen car. They would rather it pop up in front of them.

Exactly. There are more important things like actual crimes

----------

My wife uses it constantly to track me - especially at lunch time. Don't get me wrong: I usually come home for lunch. If not, I usually cannot tell her in advance, so, she just checks if I'm on my way or 25 miles away.

Another application is my disorganization: I frequently forget my phone so I can see where I left it and pick it up.

I be damned if my woman was to keep tabs on me like that. Smh

----------

Can you still just sell your phone and the buyer just pop a SIM in and use it?

andyx3x
Jul 6, 2012, 01:36 PM
I wonder if my first 4GB iPhone (model 1) can now be officially banned on AT&T. It was stolen years ago, AT&T then said there was no policy in place on stolen phones. I still have the iPhone's serial # and such, it's worth a shot. I wouldn't be surprised if it was still being used. :rolleyes:

I asked AT&T about this a few weeks ago. The answer is no. If someone already has the phone activated on an account, they are safe.

russofris
Jul 6, 2012, 01:37 PM
I imagine this will be used in some nasty divorces.

While I do not disagree with your statement, one of the first steps in getting a divorce is to get your own credit card and cell phone.

andyx3x
Jul 6, 2012, 01:38 PM
What about people that are buying used phones? What's to stop the owner to claim their phone was stolen after the sale?

On another note, could someone sell their phone on Craigslist to an honest buyer and then turn around and report it stolen and leave the buyer with a useless phone?

People bring this up all the time. What would be the purpose of this? I can't see this being a problem.

JohnDoe98
Jul 6, 2012, 01:38 PM
Exactly. There are more important things like actual crimes

Right, like catching and imprisoning all yhose Marijuana users. The "War on Drugs" is a much more effecient use of the Police force.... Especially given that the prohibitions are directly responsible for the majority of actual crime. But hey, at least this gives a sustained employment model.

andyx3x
Jul 6, 2012, 01:43 PM
My moms phone was stolen a couple months ago, I hope we can still add it to the list.

Hmmm...wonder if this can be retroactive. My iPhone was stolen late last year. They should have had this service all along.

Not if the phone is active on someone's account. Even if it's not, I doubt it.

daviddth
Jul 6, 2012, 01:43 PM
You tell us!:rolleyes:

Yes, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone in Australia (With reasonable, but not perfect cross-carrier blocking)

jumanji
Jul 6, 2012, 01:43 PM
so is a lost phone a stolen phone? some one loses a phone, reports it stolen.

what then? someone finds it...can't do anything with it...do they turn it in to apple, at&t?

JohnDoe98
Jul 6, 2012, 01:46 PM
so is a lost phone a stolen phone? some one loses a phone, reports it stolen.

what then? someone finds it...can't do anything with it...do they turn it in to apple, at&t?

The police would be a good first stop.

Daremo
Jul 6, 2012, 01:46 PM
It's long overdue, strongly needed, and welcomed!

This will make purchasing a phone on Craigslist quite interesting now. Hopefully AT&T can give you that information dialing 611 from the phone, so you can verify the phone is indeed legit before purchasing it from the seller. If not, this forum will be loaded with "I BOUGHT A STOLEN IPHONE! HELP!" threads.

/dev/toaster
Jul 6, 2012, 01:57 PM
It will be very interesting to see how the number of listings on eBay and CL are over the first few months of release. I suspect it will take a few months for the criminals to realize the phones no longer have a value.

I think you will also see a sharp jump in the number of complaints people have about buying a used phone on eBay.

jtp098
Jul 6, 2012, 02:07 PM
hmm well a good reason to stop buying iphones on ebay if this happens. I wonder if ebay will change the buyers protection to include stolen iphones.. So the buyer can get a refund if it turns out to be stolen.

Enigmanaut
Jul 6, 2012, 02:08 PM
They won't/shouldn't be able to unlock it after it is stolen because AT&T does the unlocking.

Wow... that's just super-naive.

sinsin07
Jul 6, 2012, 02:09 PM
They are just implementing this now :confused: this has been available for years in other countries...:confused:
Other countries don't matter.

nostresshere
Jul 6, 2012, 02:30 PM
What about people that are buying used phones? What's to stop the owner to claim their phone was stolen after the sale?


No incentive for the SELLER to say their phone is stolen. Not like AT&T is going to give them a new one.

On the other hand, if you BUY a phone that has already been stolen and then sold to you. Tough luck.

turaco
Jul 6, 2012, 02:33 PM
If that's the case then I would be very hesitant to buy a used phone from someone I didn't know.

Well, obviously you don't have to buy it and maybe you have that many friends that have an iphone that need to get rid of.

There is nothing wrong with buying used phones, especially iphones, which when taken care of look like new even after years of use.

The problem is, as some of the other posters have mentioned, that the owner(s) can claim his/her phone was stolen, even if it is not the case.

I remember there was a poster in this forum who actually bought a used iphone, met the owner at the sprint store and activated it right there......and guess what, the douchebag owner claimed it was stolen a week later and the new owner was now left with a brick.....

user418
Jul 6, 2012, 02:35 PM
Why all the gripes and putdowns? The way I look at it is the voicing of legitimate questions and concerns can only improve upon the implementation and follow through of this new ATT process and serve as just one more deterrent to thieves.

TonyC28
Jul 6, 2012, 02:50 PM
Well, obviously you don't have to buy it and maybe you have that many friends that have an iphone that need to get rid of.

There is nothing wrong with buying used phones, especially iphones, which when taken care of look like new even after years of use.

The problem is, as some of the other posters have mentioned, that the owner(s) can claim his/her phone was stolen, even if it is not the case.

I remember there was a poster in this forum who actually bought a used iphone, met the owner at the sprint store and activated it right there......and guess what, the douchebag owner claimed it was stolen a week later and the new owner was now left with a brick.....

Yea that's exactly what I'm talking about. IMO, for this to work properly there should be a police report.

/dev/toaster
Jul 6, 2012, 02:52 PM
Other countries don't matter.

Actually they matter a lot. If there wasn't proof that these systems do in fact work, then US carriers wouldn't have folded into pressure of implementing it.

Not to mention, you want these systems to talk to each other. What good is banning a phone in the US when you can take it to the UK and activate it.

alent1234
Jul 6, 2012, 02:55 PM
No incentive for the SELLER to say their phone is stolen. Not like AT&T is going to give them a new one.

On the other hand, if you BUY a phone that has already been stolen and then sold to you. Tough luck.

if they have the insurance they can say it was stolen to get a "new" phone

/dev/toaster
Jul 6, 2012, 02:59 PM
No incentive for the SELLER to say their phone is stolen. Not like AT&T is going to give them a new one.

On the other hand, if you BUY a phone that has already been stolen and then sold to you. Tough luck.

If the seller misrepresents the item, then eBay / Paypal could force a refund. If the seller didn't know it was stolen, it doesn't really matter ... because the item doesn't function as advertised.

I suspect that most eBay listings will say no refunds or something to that affect. However, they will have a harder time selling it for the price they wanted.

Glideslope
Jul 6, 2012, 03:02 PM
I imagine this will be used in some nasty divorces.

Ouch!! Would the settlement be in minutes or dollars? :apple:

unlimitedx
Jul 6, 2012, 03:19 PM
Ouch!! Would the settlement be in minutes or dollars? :apple:

neither. it will be in megabytes

gotluck
Jul 6, 2012, 03:36 PM
step in the right direction, but i bet this will hurt resale values.

there seems to be nothing to protect legitimate 2nd hand buyers

Vesian
Jul 6, 2012, 03:49 PM
Am I the only one that feels this won't really solve any problems? From what i've heard and seen, theives rarely steal phones just to use the phones themselves. It's often to resell them and make money. As it's impossible to determine this if you buy a phone from a 3rd party over the internet, this basically sets a ton of people up to purchase phones and have them DOA.

I realize this is a good step in the right direction, though.

poloponies
Jul 6, 2012, 04:03 PM
Am I the only one that feels this won't really solve any problems? From what i've heard and seen, theives rarely steal phones just to use the phones themselves. It's often to resell them and make money. As it's impossible to determine this if you buy a phone from a 3rd party over the internet, this basically sets a ton of people up to purchase phones and have them DOA.

I realize this is a good step in the right direction, though.

No, it requires purchasers - who probably didn't care all that much where the phone came from as long as they were getting a good deal - to be more vigilant when buying from some mope on Craigslist.

deeddawg
Jul 6, 2012, 04:12 PM
How about bringing back truly unlimited, unthrottled data AT&T?

Already there. You can have all the unthrottled data you're willing to buy. :D

hamkor04
Jul 6, 2012, 05:08 PM
We have in Uzbekistan (which is not advanced as a US or some western EU, but), good service, if your phone is stolen you simple contact to local police with evidence you owned that phone. and they track your phone down and recover it. only thing you have to do report and pay very little charge for postage. actually this system is working very well so far, but in West, Police too busy with other "crimes"

Kwill
Jul 6, 2012, 05:13 PM
I was thinking the same thing. Little mistakes like that peeve me to no end.

On another note, could someone sell their phone on Craigslist to an honest buyer and then turn around and report it stolen and leave the buyer with a useless phone?

What would be the point? Neither the seller or buyer would have a useful device.

ansabakhan
Jul 6, 2012, 05:33 PM
Question is what do u Need to block your phone ? A police report .?

BeyondtheTech
Jul 6, 2012, 05:40 PM
How much you wanna bet that AT&T will charge for this service? It's unnatural that AT&T would provide something without asking for something bigger in return, namely your money.

charlituna
Jul 6, 2012, 05:59 PM
Renters insurance, home owners insurance, Private electronics insurance. Your options are virtually limitless but saying "whaaa my phone got stolen how can you help ME!??" after the fact is not one of them.

That's rather my point. The carriers nor Apple are going to be inclined to assist folks, which is why neither is mentioned in this service, because there are other options.

----------

I wonder if it would be possible for Apple to do something. Some special software on an iPhone, available to the police,

Carriers already have to do this kind of thing with the legally required GPS. But the police are not going to go to the fuss of getting a warrant etc just cause someone stole your phone. and even if Apple created something they would likely have to go through the same process. Heck some states might require a warrant for them to use the 'find my iPhone' details. the US is quirky like that.

twoodcc
Jul 6, 2012, 06:39 PM
i'm very glad to see this. i've had a phone stolen, and even though i was able to wipe my data from it, i went to at&t and they couldn't do anything to help the situation. hopefully now they can

firewood
Jul 6, 2012, 07:36 PM
What about people that are buying used phones? What's to stop the owner to claim their phone was stolen after the sale?

If the purchaser was smart enough to get a signed receipt for payment for the phone, then in some jurisdictions that might be enough evidence for the DA to file criminal charges over a fraudulent theft report.

A more interesting question is if a 2nd hand phone is later stolen from a purchaser of that used phone, how do they prove they have the legal right to have that phone blocked, since they aren't listed as the original owner with either Apple or AT&T.

firewood
Jul 6, 2012, 07:50 PM
If that's the case then I would be very hesitant to buy a used phone from someone I didn't know.

There would need to be some way to prove that the owner and account holder were putting their phone up for sale, and thus could no longer report it stolen. Maybe something that could only be done in an AT&T store after showing ID.

sevimli
Jul 6, 2012, 10:02 PM
what about my stolen iphone on 2011?

I've reported it to the Apple, since activation is done by them, they didn't care a bit. ATT told me that there was nothing they could at that time...

deftdrummer
Jul 7, 2012, 01:20 AM
Sorry but I'm having to LOL a little at all the people who have had their phones stolen and what they want done about it.

A iPhone is just like any other gadgetry. I do not understand this thinking, where people are entitled to something (even vindication) just because their phone got stolen.

If your car stereo got stolen would Honda care or do anything? If your iMac were stolen from your apartment would Apple care?

What is it about a phone that makes people feel that they are entitled to have anything done about it period?

As far as I'm concerned, a phone that's stolen is a phone that you'll never see again, so what's the point of dwelling on it? Police reports, Verizon, AT&T, Apple, your mom all can't do a damn thing about it.

Morale of the story: Like anything you care about, keep it within sight at all times.

jaw04005
Jul 7, 2012, 09:16 AM
Trouble with that notion is that anything you can buy from said sources can be done with a computer and synced over. So blocking such access does nothing.

All iOS apps have FairPlay DRM. Even if you managed to sync to the stolen iPhone, Apple could prevent the apps (and iTunes purchased TV shows, movies, books, etc) from running.

DRM actually working for the consumer, not the other way around.

We are already seeing new Find My iPhone features with iOS 6 where you can actually track your stolen device. I wouldn't surprised if some implementation of what I'm proposing comes with future OS releases.

saxofunk
Jul 7, 2012, 07:41 PM
This is just a way of selling more phones, and making more garbage. How is this in anyway going to stop phones from getting stolen? makes absolutely no sense. The thief could still use the phone on WiFi and make VOIP calls. I'm guessing I'm going to get a lot of stolen phones in the repair shop that I'll just use for parts since they'll never work again. What a waste of resources.

ipodlover77
Jul 8, 2012, 07:30 AM
I read a post over at XDA who purchased a Tmo Galaxy S 3 on CL. He said that the phone was brand new and was working perfectly until a week ago when the phone didn't activate on the network. He claimed that he called Tmo and they informed him that the original owner stopped making bill payments so the phone had been blacklisted.

i've had my phone stolen before so hearing about this blocking service is nice but at the same time, i've purchased alot of phones on craigslist before too. Its a bit disheartening to realize that i won't be shopping for phones on CL too. It sucks because I bought multiple iphones for friends and family through CL.

charlituna
Jul 8, 2012, 10:04 AM
All iOS apps have FairPlay DRM. Even if you managed to sync to the stolen iPhone, Apple could prevent the apps (and iTunes purchased TV shows, movies, books, etc) from running.

.

But only until you restore it and sync over stuff you bought on the computer with your own id.

The only way for such a notion to work would be to block it at a serial number type level. But that puts Apple back in the same policing and vetting place they are now. Not to mention the possible privacy issues that might be raised.

----------

Even if it was available, the police wouldn't use it most of the time. It is not worth the effort. For the most part they will only get charged with a misdemeanor possession of stolen property.

.

Hell look at the Giz thing. They publicly admitted they paid a felony amount for a phone they knew didnt belong to the owner. And yet the DA didn't bother going through with a trial because they would have gotten a slap on the wrist. Not worth the cost.

0penCr8
Jul 8, 2012, 01:59 PM
There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary, and those who don't

Which one are you?

Dionte
Jul 8, 2012, 09:12 PM
Not if the phone is active on someone's account. Even if it's not, I doubt it.

We told them it was stolen when it happened but your probably right. They'd probably then be more concerned with that new incoming revenue.

xhArRiSoNxD
Jul 9, 2012, 02:29 AM
Wow... that's just super-naive.

How? Why would AT&T FACTORY unlock your iPhone that has been reported stolen? That's just plain stupid. Basically defeats the whole purpose of blacklisting it...

laz305
Jul 9, 2012, 04:52 AM
so is there a link or do we just call AT&T to report stolen iphone? and will they have record history of all the iphones on our account or we have to provide them with it?

Kiton
Jul 9, 2012, 10:04 AM
This is already in effect in Canada between the major carriers.
You must call your carrier and have the IMEI number blocked from re-connection.

When my daughters had their phone ripped from their hands and stolen, the cops told us the street kids call the process "Apple picking".
As in let's go apple picking and steal some phones.

While the phone is rendered useless as iPhone, the sim card is pulled, making find my phone useless, the data is whipped and it is then sold for 25 bucks as an iPod touch since he wifi aspect continues to work.

Enigmanaut
Jul 9, 2012, 03:52 PM
How? Why would AT&T FACTORY unlock your iPhone that has been reported stolen? That's just plain stupid. Basically defeats the whole purpose of blacklisting it...

It's naive because you think you need AT&T to unlock your phone...

laz305
Jul 10, 2012, 08:40 PM
so anybody do a successful block yet? was it easy? Did they probe a lot?

silroc
Jul 10, 2012, 09:47 PM
Morally correct thing to do but wonder why waited so long?

I suspect Previous calculations said
A stolen phone without the block will result in new AT&T sale for the victim, and potential new AT&T subscriber (the thief)

The new calculation says new phone for Vic, but loss of possible new sub.

So they may be losing money, but doing the "right thing"

laz305
Jul 22, 2012, 07:30 AM
so has anyone been able to use this new service successfully yet?

IPlayFair
Jul 22, 2012, 11:18 AM
I imagine this will be used in some nasty divorces.

Well, here in the US, the divorce degree should include language aimed at preventing spousal harassment. Any good divorce lawyer would have anticipated this tactic. In many states, spousal harassment warrants a restraining order. So, unless the offender wants a misdemeanor charge on his record he or she should move on. :)