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Old Jan 9, 2014, 09:15 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by 617aircav View Post
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, which is why buying a phone over craiglist is a crapshoot. However, these cases are rare and limited to newer devices which people try to get on a leaner budget.
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Old Jun 5, 2014, 07:24 PM   #27
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Why cell phones are so often scams

Originally Posted by kettlecorn View Post
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.
I think the reason is that the cell phones are high dollar items WITH INSURANCE. It's a very safe scam for a criminal. They get a subsidized phone with little money out of pocket that is worth many hundreds of dollars. They sell it on CL or eBay then file a claim on their phone as lost or stolen and insurance sends them a replacement. AT&T etc don't really care so long as the person keeps paying their monthly bill. I believe the insurance payout is handled by (usually) a 3rd party.

Once AT&T blacklists a phone as stolen or lost there is NOTHING the buyer can do. AT&T won't take any action. There is no recourse for the buyer. The whole situation sucks, but it's most specific to cell phones because the seller can get a quick replacement via insurance and pocket hundreds of dollars and the buyer cannot do ANYTHING. Very safe for the criminal.

Any item MIGHT have a credit card provision for purchase insurance for loss (I've used this myself), but neither AT&T nor even Apple have a way (currently) to blacklist a computer and keep it from being usable. And, we had to file a police report when someone stole my wife's BB. The credit card company required that step before they'd pay on the claim. No such hurdle that I know of before AT&T will screw the buyer. AT&T completely protects the criminal seller and doesn't even require a police report, just an allegation that the phone was lost or stolen.

Cell phones are uniquely "safe" for criminals because the buyer has zero recourse and AT&T and the cops don't care.

<rant> Truthfully if a buyer buys in good faith from a legitimate owner/seller, the buyer has done nothing wrong and having AT&T blacklist the device seems like "theft" of what is private property legally sold by a willing seller and a willing buyer. That the buyer has no recourse is the real problem, and frankly I think AT&T would lose a lawsuit for interfering with private property that wasn't AT&T's property. I'm not a lawyer, it just seems like AT&T is violating Constitutional private property rights of legitimate buyers. Sadly, the Constitution doesn't carry much weight in today's "legal" system. We have a legal system, not a system of Justice, otherwise the NSA couldn't be spying on Americans without probable cause and the POTUS couldn't assassinate American citizens without at least a show trial in abstentia. POTUS doesn't even bother with a show trial because the Constitution doesn't guide America anymore, $$$ guide America. </rant>
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