Bought an iCloud locked iPhone 5s

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by choyk1, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. choyk1 macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2014
    I bought an iCloud locked iPhone 5s from craigslist for $350.
    Just after I bought this, I realized it is iCloud locked. So I reported to Police. Police said it is not reported as a stolen phone, so they said to bring it and try to negotiate with original owner.
    I contacted the owner and he said he just reported to Police as a stolen phone. I offered extra money to get the phone but he didn't respond.
    Today, I got a phone call from Police and they ask me to drop the device off at the police office.

    My question is if I am liable to give this device back to the original owner even if at the time I purchased it, it isn't reported as stolen?

    What if the careless owner lost his phone somewhere he don't know and insisted his phone is stolen? Do I still need to return it without any money back or something?
  2. Black Magic macrumors 68020

    Black Magic

    Sep 30, 2012
    Bottom line is this: you got screwed. Do the right thing and drop the phone off to the police or you will have more problems than being out $350.

    Lesson in all this is do not buy used phones online. I was at the apple store the other day and the genius was telling us how many scams that go on and how many folks come in asking for help.
  3. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    Surely people realise by now that if you are going to take the risk of buying a used iPhone from a stranger on craiglist, when you meet the person to do the deal, you make sure you're in a place with wifi and you go through the setup process to make sure the phone is not locked BEFORE letting the seller leave with your money.
    Common sense, otherwise no deal.
  4. EDH667 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2009
    Northern California
    Yes, return it to the police or it is possible that they will charge you with possession of stolen property. Take it as a $350 lesson in life.
  5. Gincoma macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2013
  6. EDH667 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2009
    Northern California
    Nothing wrong with buying and selling IOS devices on Craigslist. You just have to use common sense. If it sounds too good it usually is. Ask questions about the device, meet at a Starbucks or other public location with Wi-Fi and activate the device before you go through with the purchase.
  7. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    The owner IS the owner. You can not own property that legally belongs to someone else. If anything you could become a party to the crime if you don't turn it over.

    You have no right to become the owner of someone else property UNLESS they pass title of ownership to you or a 3ed party.
  8. Gincoma macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2013
    i see where your coming from but its not worth the risk. Ebay or Amazon iswhere its at. I never hear anything good about craigslist its a cheap site with millions of scams
  9. SpasticPat macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2011
    Apollo, Pa
    Isn't this like the third person in a row who this has happened to? I don't see anything wrong with buying/selling over CL but I would demand the seller to meet me at the carrier's store (if you're buying for like Verizon etc). I'd also demand the SN before meeting so I could verify with the carrier that it's a good buy. That's how I've always bought phones of eBay. The sellers have always been more than willing to provide the number before purchasing so they can get a sale and stay legit.
  10. Woochifer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2007
    Doesn't matter when or if he reported that phone as stolen -- the owner is still the owner. You have no legal standing in this case, and with an activation locked phone, you have no technical means to use the phone anyway.

    Do the right thing, turn the phone into the police and have it returned to the rightful owner. If the owner's thankful enough, you might even get a reward for it. But, don't expect anything out of this.

    If anything, do everything you can to track down the perp that sold you the phone in the first place. Having the guy cuffed and hopefully spending some quality time with the local bubbas might be reward enough. And you could always take the guy to civil court and try to get restitution or at least a judgment that will follow him around on his credit records.
  11. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Would be nice if the police helped in that matter as they apparently did with the matter of the stolen phone.
  12. joshkhaos1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2014
    Yeah in this case unfortunately you are basically out $350. This is a different situation that the other CL post in the forum. This is a case where you have made contact with the original owner, so you would want to go ahead and turn the device over.
  13. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    OP if you had dome the obvious and tested the phone you would not be here. How can someone buy a phone and not even turn it on.
  14. HarryWild macrumors 65816


    Oct 27, 2012
    Did you not take College Business Law?

    It a stolen property! Just because you don't know it is stolen does not change that fact!
  15. dwfaust macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    I am here => [•]
    Apple added the Activation Lock to iOS 7 to combat the rampant unauthorized reselling of lost/stolen devices. There is no way around this lockout… your only options are to contact the person you bought it from and get (1) the Apple ID login credentials, or (2) your money back. If you bought it from an honest/legitimate seller, they’ll help you out. If you bought a stolen device from a scumbag, you are simply SOL, and you now own a pretty, albeit expensive, paperweight.

    I love the Activation Lock concept, but it appears to be punishing the unwitting buyer much more than the scumbag thief.

    When buying a device from anyone other than a legitimate retailer (Apple, wireless service provider, or big box store), make the seller meet you at your wireless provider's store and stay with you through the activation process. That alone will scare off most ne'er-do-wells. Otherwise, you may be throwing your money into a black hole.

    Caveat emptor.
  16. mw360 macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    This is the first round, where that portion of the population who have been cluelessly funding muggers and burglars for all this time, get their comeuppance. Once they get a clue, and perhaps once a precious few actually start contacting the police (kudos to the OP) the muggers and fences will start to get theirs too, or at least move onto harder and less lucrative crimes.
  17. feeneymikep macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2014
    For future reference, you can check if the phone is reported as lost/stolen at
  18. MattMJB0188 macrumors 68000

    Dec 28, 2009
    WRONG! There are many sellers out there who agree to meet in a public place, and seem really cool. Two months later, once you have no way in getting touch with them, your new shiny phone is a paper weight. I do not have any sympathy for those who buy phones off CL anymore. There have been way too many reports of people getting ripped off.

    Swappa is really good.
  19. kupkakez macrumors 68000


    Apr 4, 2011
    I wouldn't touch Craigslist with a 10 foot pole anymore.
  20. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    How is Swappa different than Craigs List or anything else like that with respect to all of this?
  21. joshkhaos1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2014
    Yeah I've learned to let it go. I have done lots of phone deals, never really knew about the issue where phones could be deemed useless months down the road. Wont be taking the risk anymore.

    Honestly people get addicted to doing CL deals. It's a problem. I now have moved selling or buying on CL to the last resort after I have exausted every other option.

  22. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    That will not help that much as a phone on subsidy can be locked anytime.
  23. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    Seems to me like this iOS lock screws over the people who buy used phones, not the people that steal them :| Apple should make it really obvious when a phone is icloud locked on a wiped phone. To find out if it is (for ATT & Tmobile) they require the sim card prior to the screen that tells whether or not its icloud locked. If they put the icloud screen prior to the sim car/ayctivation screen, it would be a whole lot more successful.

    Sorry bud, youre out the money :[
  24. nox5 macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2013
  25. kupkakez macrumors 68000


    Apr 4, 2011
    I don't think that it is. I would think that a seller could still report a phone lost after a month or two if they really wanted to, screwing the buyer out of the phone. The only thing I could think of is maybe you'd have more recourse as you'd have the sellers profile/contact information?

    Thankfully I have yet to run into any issues selling or buying on Swappa.

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