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Old Feb 12, 2013, 03:20 PM   #1
kettlecorn
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Anyone have AT&T know what the rule is on used or "stolen" phones?

I'm looking to buy an unlocked Iphone5 on craigslist. The guy says we can meet at att store but I dont know if there is still risk doing this. I dont have att and have tmobile which is why I ask. I know that with Tmobile if you lose your phone and claim insurance on it or tell them you lost it, they will block the IMEI from the network. But that's only if you lost it.

If I show up to the store and it works on the Att network, works on the Tmobile network, is there anything to fear? Can he go back and later report it stolen and take my money and get a new phone? Or can we call att and transfer ownership?
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 08:38 PM   #2
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If the seller reports it lost or stolen after selling it to you it will be blacklisted and will never work on ATT or Tmobile. Even if you go to a ATT store and swap it out, he can still do it. Att store employees do not get involved. Its not their job to facilitate the used handset market transactions. They would rather you buy a new phone from then. Someone sold me an iphone 5 on craigslist and it worked for a day. Att suspended my account because i put my sim card in a stolen phone. The sellers number no longer works so I am just using it as an ipod touch to make most of my $350.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 09:34 PM   #3
kettlecorn
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If the seller reports it lost or stolen after selling it to you it will be blacklisted and will never work on ATT or Tmobile. Even if you go to a ATT store and swap it out, he can still do it. Att store employees do not get involved. Its not their job to facilitate the used handset market transactions. They would rather you buy a new phone from then. Someone sold me an iphone 5 on craigslist and it worked for a day. Att suspended my account because i put my sim card in a stolen phone. The sellers number no longer works so I am just using it as an ipod touch to make most of my $350.
goddamn that sucks. so there's no way around this? it's brand new in box too.. asking $470 which i think is a fair price. but even if it wasnt this guy, that means that i should never buy a used phone ever?
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 09:49 PM   #4
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goddamn that sucks. so there's no way around this? it's brand new in box too.. asking $470 which i think is a fair price. but even if it wasnt this guy, that means that i should never buy a used phone ever?
Ive bought over 2 dozen phones in the past 6 months and got burned only once. Most people are honest.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 10:36 PM   #5
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If the seller reports it lost or stolen after selling it to you it will be blacklisted and will never work on ATT or Tmobile. Even if you go to a ATT store and swap it out, he can still do it. Att store employees do not get involved. Its not their job to facilitate the used handset market transactions. They would rather you buy a new phone from then. Someone sold me an iphone 5 on craigslist and it worked for a day. Att suspended my account because i put my sim card in a stolen phone. The sellers number no longer works so I am just using it as an ipod touch to make most of my $350.
This happened to me. I got it unlocked through a third party service. Put in a 10 dollar T Mobile sim card and took into an apple store. Told them it was dropping calls (it actually was) and they swapped it out for one with clean IMEI. I suggest you do the same. T mobile will sell a pay as you go sim for 10 bucks plus tax.

But to the OP's question. Most people are honest like the guy above said. If he's willing to meet at an AT&T store then 99% chance you're fine. If you're VERY paranoid, have the rep note your IMEI and if it's claimed as stolen later, go back in and have them call in to have it unblocked. But that won't happen, so you'll be fine.

Another thing, even though T mobile and AT&T said they have merged stolen/lost IMEI databases, it really hasn't happened yet. If all else fails, do what I mentioned above with getting it swapped. Apple doesn't mess with "my iphone was lost" stories. They don't care where you got it. If it's dropping calls/has a problem and it's still under warranty, it'll be replaced.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:19 PM   #6
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This happened to me. I got it unlocked through a third party service. Put in a 10 dollar T Mobile sim card and took into an apple store. Told them it was dropping calls (it actually was) and they swapped it out for one with clean IMEI. I suggest you do the same. T mobile will sell a pay as you go sim for 10 bucks plus tax.

But to the OP's question. Most people are honest like the guy above said. If he's willing to meet at an AT&T store then 99% chance you're fine. If you're VERY paranoid, have the rep note your IMEI and if it's claimed as stolen later, go back in and have them call in to have it unblocked. But that won't happen, so you'll be fine.

Another thing, even though T mobile and AT&T said they have merged stolen/lost IMEI databases, it really hasn't happened yet. If all else fails, do what I mentioned above with getting it swapped. Apple doesn't mess with "my iphone was lost" stories. They don't care where you got it. If it's dropping calls/has a problem and it's still under warranty, it'll be replaced.
Well a phone blacklisted on AT&T is also blacklisted on tmobile and any carrier that uses either network.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:23 PM   #7
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OP... Is that even English... Sheesh
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:30 PM   #8
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The thing is even if you test it out and it works right at the post it doesnt mean much. Ff its really lost/stolen and the owners calls in a day later and reports it to their carrier then all off a sudden it will then get blocked and stop working on you.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:45 PM   #9
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Well a phone blacklisted on AT&T is also blacklisted on tmobile and any carrier that uses either network.
reread third paragraph. I have both carriers and know this isn't true.

----------

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Originally Posted by Applejuiced View Post
The thing is even if you test it out and it works right at the post it doesnt mean much. Ff its really lost/stolen and the owners calls in a day later and reports it to their carrier then all off a sudden it will then get blocked and stop working on you.
annnd reread first paragraph for answer to this.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by saud0488 View Post
reread third paragraph. I have both carriers and know this isn't true.

----------



annnd reread first paragraph for answer to this.
From first hand experience I know it is true.
US carrier share the same cellphone blacklisted database now.
So if its blacklisted in the US its done for all carriers and will only work outside the US.

Reread these paragraphs here:
http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/...ase-goes-live/
And here:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2411632,00.asp
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Applejuiced View Post
From first hand experience I know it is true.
US carrier share the same cellphone blacklisted database now.
So if its blacklisted in the US its done for all carriers and will only work outside the US.

Reread these paragraphs here:
http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/...ase-goes-live/
And here:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2411632,00.asp
Thats what i read all over the internet.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:43 AM   #12
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I think you should only be allowed to report a phone stolen if its actively on the network at the time of the report. This will prevent the owner from selling it with a good imei, and later report it stolen for whatever reason.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 02:27 AM   #13
kettlecorn
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Thanks for the input. I called Att and spoke to someone who placed me on hold and had to get their superiors. And based on what I recall from a few weeks ago it seems like they were right. Basically if the phone that I am buying is already unlocked, I.E. a tmobile sim will work in it then Att has absolutely no power over banning that phone now. It is out of their system. I forget what the word is but unlock basically means FREE and no longer tethered to the carrier. If I try a sim from a different carrier and it works, then it holds unlock status and att cannot ban it. Also, ATT's ban list does not seem to have any relation to tmobile's and vice versa. I spoke to a few reps from each and they all said the same. And looking on craigslist (numerous times a day) I see people posting phones that say it will not work on Att but will work on other networks like Tmobile, or the ESN is bad on sprint but will work on boost or verizon, etc.

I'm not sure if the news says the networks are compiling their lists but so far they haven't.
I do know that they passed that new law about not being able to unlock your phone if you bought it before jan 2013 and you must do it through a carrier now. But ATT's unlock rule has changed where you no longer have to be off contract or have the phone for 2 years to be eligible to call in for an unlock. As long as your account is in good standing and you are either a former ATT member or current, or a veteran and military with valid ID, or bought from 3rd party with proof of receipt, they will unlock no problem.

But that "guy" happened to be a girl and it was the shadiest situation I've been in. My street sense told me to get out and there were people involved all over the place that were acting really suspicious so I bailed on it and made sure I wasn't being tailed. I've done more than 2000 transactions on Craigslist now probably and you kind of get the feel for things and when something is weird, trust your gut and run! haha But thank you all for the help!
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 07:05 AM   #14
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Thanks for the knowledge.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 10:24 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by kettlecorn View Post
But that "guy" happened to be a girl and it was the shadiest situation I've been in. My street sense told me to get out and there were people involved all over the place that were acting really suspicious so I bailed on it and made sure I wasn't being tailed. I've done more than 2000 transactions on Craigslist now probably and you kind of get the feel for things and when something is weird, trust your gut and run! haha But thank you all for the help!
You can't say something like that and not tell us what happened! Do tell! Plus maybe it will help someone else who reads this in the future learn what to void or what to watch out for.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 01:54 PM   #16
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You can't say something like that and not tell us what happened! Do tell! Plus maybe it will help someone else who reads this in the future learn what to void or what to watch out for.
True that. So what got you spooked kettlecorn?
You think they were going to try to rob or attack you maybe?
What did you do just pulled up and got in your car and left without saying anything?
Interesting situation. CL transactions can be scary sometimes.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 02:11 AM   #17
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haha nothing crazy but something was definitely up. I'm glad that I can say it's nothing crazy cause it's always no big deal until something unexpected happens out of nowhere.
Basically I buy phones on craigslist when I want to upgrade or try something new (among other things, I buy everything on CL). In my area, it's very populated and craigslist has listings for brand new sealed phones for sale all the time, people who upgraded and just dont want to use their phone and pocket the cash, etc. That is what I was expecting out of this situation as she posted an ad stating "Brand new, unlocked Iphone 5" with her number. So i text her and we arrange to meet at 9 or so at an att store. I actually was supposed to meet her at 5pm and threw the att store location to scare off any crooks as a test.

It got delayed due to work so I meet her in a public place. She chooses the mcdonalds inside the Walmart in a local towne center, very public place.
This is fine by me. But the way she was texting was so suspicious. Not really coherent, doesn't answer questions all that directly, very succinct, etc. I gave her the benefit of the doubt cause some people just dont know how to text and I have met people who were very nice that wanted to use CL to sell something and were not very tech saavy. But I wouldn't have gone through the trouble if it weren't for the fact that this was only 10 minutes away.
I go inside, people are eating. Group of teens in one table, 2 older gentlemen in their 50's on the left, a dad in a wheelchair and a son in the back right. I sit down and text that I'm there.
Up to now, it could have been someone who is just bad at tech communication. But she texts me and says Come to X and Y (cross streets). I say "No, I told you I'll be here by 930. If youre not here in 15 mins I'm leaving". She says "Okay" and I wait outside and change positions in case someone's watching me. I tell her I'm sitting at a table though.

After 5-10 minutes I'm ready to leave and I call her. She hasn't been picking up her phone and once again, this was something that's not normal but could be for someone who hates talking on the phone or something. I text her "Pick up your phone" and call. She picks up and I see her walking toward the entrance with this 7 year old boy (my guess). She looks very unsure. Her eyes are darty and she stutters.
With women I meet on CL, I go out of my way to make them feel comfortable and safe, I use a soft toned voice, stand a little less tall and try to smile and be patient as much as possible. This didn't help in this situation, she was nervous for a different reason and I can tell right off the bat. First thought, stolen phone.

She hesitates and asks me "what? uh what? yeah, go inside?" in her semi decent english. I say, Okay but dont you want to do it out here considering you cant just sell and buy an iphone inside the walmart when they SELL iphones themselves. She starts walking. I follow from a distance and look around to see if there's someone she is working with.
We get to a table, I take a seat facing the entrance and no one's behind my back so I get a full view of everything. She pulls out this iphone. No charger, no box. This phone by itself and holds it in her hand. She goes "yeah but uh yeah, no battery. Battery die. You come to my store at X and Y and we charge."
At this point as the events were unfolding, I had already expected this. I ask her "Let me see the phone?" and she will hold it tight in her hand and pull back and say "Oh, no see it no battery. It's useless". I asked her 3 times to see the phone, maybe check the condition, see the IMEI. She says that it's not worth checking out due to the battery all 3 times. All the while I feel bad for this poor kid who looks like a normal, full of potential 7 year old asian kid with a baseball cap following his mom around on a possible criminal activities.

I dont even bother losing my temper or getting angry, I just get up and say "well if it doesn't even turn on, I'm definitely not going to buy it." (by the way, she mentions that the "Brand new" one is sold and that one is her 2 month old personal phone). I just start walking away and exit the Walmart entrance.


As I'm walking I make sure I'm not tailed and also watch for cars and other people waiting or observing. I go outside and wait right in front of the exit where it's very public. I stay put. As I come out and move to place myself along the wall near the entrance, there was this guy. Maybe 5'8" with gelled hair and sort of stocky or chubby, medium build in a jacket and he had his blue tooth on the whole time. I noticed him pacing and loitering while I was waiting for her outside earlier. He's still outside. What is this guy doing out here and who is dressed like that has a bluetooth iin his ear at 9:50pm. Why is he in front of the walmart hanging out? I keep an eye out.

When I exit the walmart that guy is just so happens right near the entrance and walking away about 5 paces in front of me and hangs a right as he sees me come out. Another guy in black, lanky, about 6'2" with glasses is walking towards him and eventually me, and they cross paths. And as they do, the lanky guy sees me and then he makes eye contact with the other guy with the bluetooth and he shakes his head side-to-side signaling "no". He also has an earpiece. He walks by.
By now, I'm thinking two things. They are cops and this is a sting operation and the woman is doing this to bait people into buying stolen goods and she's nervous. Or... I'm going to get jumped. The thought of the second possibility puts me in super awareness mode and also makes me really angry actually. I keep checking the guy out with the earpiece and by now he knows that I know something is up and I make that clear. He walks back towards me and breaks the silence by asking "Do you have a cigarette?" to which I state "no." I walk straight between the crowded parking lot, watching to see if anyone or any cars are keeping an eye out, I zig to the next lane, zag to the next. I call my ride to swing around and pick me up at the burger joint across the street. Then we head home and I make sure we're not being followed. People follow you and then hit your home later. It's not uncommon to be followed from a distance and robbed later.

I also need to mention something i forgot. When she and I entered the walmart, she stops and goes "so what do you want?" like it was some sort of drug deal. And im like "what? the iphone. you put the ad up right?" and she goes "so where's the money?". I look at her like, "are you serious.." and say that I have it. She goes "so You have the money?" to which I state yes. She goes, "where is it?" and I give her this look like, wtf. "in my pocket". That's what made me look out for getting robbed. I was carrying close to $600 in my pocket. People get messed up for a lot less.

So that's the story. I cant say for certain what it was, maybe it completely unrelated and the guys with the earpieces are some walmart undercover employees looking for shop lifters or something but either way, something wasn't right so I bailed. It's always good that you never KNOW what it could've been. Something in that walmart was not right that's for damn sure.

I still use craigslist and bought a legit brand new Iphone 5 today from a guy a lot more trustworthy, met at his work place and he had the receipt, etc. Craigslist is as safe or dangerous as the world itself. There are good and bad people everywhere. Normally people are reasonable but I dont know, something about CELL PHONES bring out so many criminals. I cant think of another category more full of scams, clones, crooks, stolen goods, robberies, etc. I've bought macbooks, laptops, motorcycles, stereos, computer parts and NOTHING is more saturated with shady people than the cell phone category.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:21 PM   #18
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Your Spidey-senses are impressive. So is your common sense. I'm no longer surprised at the number of people who ignore their gut instinct and the number who are oblivious to their surroundings.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:42 PM   #19
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Very good moves kettlecorn. You played it right, safe and with much common sense.
The indication that it wouldnt turn on and she wouldnt let you touch it its a dead giveaway. And that she kept asking you about the money and to see the money before she even showed you the phone.
Those guys might have been with her either as a lookout trying to scam you or rob you.
I doubt it had anything to do with cops or sting operation cause they would have mentioned many times that its a stolen phone or she found it in order to get you for receiving stolen property. But again I doubt cops would waste their time with setting something like that to catch an average guy trying to buy a cellphone on CL.
Weird situation for sure though, I would have a friend or 2 for backup instead of showing up alone next time.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 03:43 PM   #20
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Very informative post, OP. Thanks for sharing your experience!
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 04:22 PM   #21
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Very good thread, sometimes it is better to just cut your losses and run. I luckily have not been in any situations like that myself.

There are many dumb buyers on Craigslist. They were probably hoping they found one. When I sold my iphone 4 back in the day the girl who bought it handed me 300 bucks and then grabbed the box and started walking away. I asked if she would like to put her sim card into it and check to see that it is working and indeed a 32 gb like I said and she just simply stated she trusted me.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 04:33 PM   #22
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I almost got robbed once selling an iPhone.Thankfully I went with my brother an NYPD cop guy pulled a knife he pulled out his service pistol.Very scary situation.But most of the people selling phones in NYC on craiglist are just teens or younger adults well in my opinion anyway.
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Old Jan 9, 2014, 03:39 PM   #23
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Does this work? I got a new iPhone 4S and it has a bad IMEI. Can I just unlock it and use a tmobile SIM card and get it replaced at apple? I really can't afford another iPhone.
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Old Jan 9, 2014, 03:41 PM   #24
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Does this work? I got a new iPhone 4S and it has a bad IMEI. Can I just unlock it and use a tmobile SIM card and get it replaced at apple? I really can't afford another iPhone.
No, if the IMEI is blacklisted then it will not work on any US carrier.
You cannot unlock it or whitelist it unless you're the original owner that reported it lost or stolen.
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Old Jan 9, 2014, 05:32 PM   #25
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Does this work? I got a new iPhone 4S and it has a bad IMEI. Can I just unlock it and use a tmobile SIM card and get it replaced at apple? I really can't afford another iPhone.
No. That's warranty fraud unless there's something actually wrong with it (besides being blacklisted). And that's assuming it's even still under warranty.
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