Can a used iPhone "become iCloud locked"?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by 0dev, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #1
    Probably a silly question but I am looking at used iPhones on eBay and someone is selling a 5S that has the activation lock from iCloud on it. In the listing they claim that this lock appeared a month after they bought the phone on eBay themselves.

    Obviously if that can really happen it seems worrying to anyone looking to buy a used iPhone, but my question is can that actually happen or is the seller just talking BS because the phone was stolen?

    It seems logical to me that if the phone is wiped clean before you buy it, then you set it up with your own iCloud account, the previous owner cannot lock it. So if you buy a used iPhone you just need to make sure the previous owner's iCloud account is not still set up. Is that right?

    Thanks!
     
  2. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    #2
    It can't random become locked out of nowhere. It can only become locked if it is wiped remotely or through DFU restore and the actual owner of the phone doesn't put in their iCloud password to activate it again. But i can't think of a scenario where the owner would forget both his password and his email address. 90% of the time iCloud locked is the equivalent of stolen.
     
  3. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #3
    I thought as much. But if you buy a phone the owner did not wipe, then you wipe it, wouldn't it come up with the activation lock for the previous owner's iCloud account?
     
  4. Jolttz0r macrumors newbie

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    #4
    You would need the owner's Apple ID and password to wipe the phone via 'Erase all content and settings'.
     
  5. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #5
    But if you did it through iTunes you'd be hit with the activation lock?

    I'm just checking here so I know if I have to make sure the previous owner completely wiped the phone and can show it on the home screen after before I buy anything.
     
  6. Jolttz0r macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Basically. Any kind of wipe that isn't through the settings menu whilst iCloud and Find My iPhone is on will present you with an activation lock because it is still registered to that iCloud account.

    You could just request a screenshot of the iCloud tab in their settings showing their account is signed out or on the location services settings on the initial set up (The step after activation) to assure you won't be locked out. :)
     
  7. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #7
    Will do, thank you :)
     
  8. 960design macrumors 68020

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    #8
    Dude! If someone steals one of our corporate iOS devices, I don't immediately lock it so that I can possibly send its location to the police for a Felony recovery ( recovered 2 out of 3 so far ). If I cannot locate it after a month, we chock it up as a loss and lock them via the cloud to 'brick it'; Standard Operating Procedures.

    So, the thief will steal it and sell it quickly to some sucker. The sucker will be happy for about 30 days and then, oops. Brick. Sucker is out $100 bucks and you just committed a Felony ( without you even knowing it ).

    You can check the device status here:
    https://www.icloud.com/activationlock/

    I would make sure to take the device only in person and at a public location, then immediately ( before handing cash over ): Tap Settings > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. If the device pops up with iCloud password, hand it back to the seller and ask for them to clear it. If they cannot, contact the police.
     
  9. Harmonious Zen macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Have you looked at Swappa? I find that a much more reliable place to buy used phones, particularly from people that have a large number of ratings
     
  10. 960design macrumors 68020

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    #10
    A smart thief would fake that screen. Easy peasy.

    PS. Be careful of the sly thief that taps Reset All Settings, catches at least one sucker a day. This doesn't prompt for iCloud Activation Password.
     
  11. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #11
    Lots to be paranoid about. I will buy most of these phones in real life in a public place anyway so like you say I can just check the settings myself. But if I buy one on eBay I can just use the buyer protection to get it sorted because I will check the settings before I do anything with it.

    Does the link you've provided work only if activation lock is on, or does it also work if the phone is locked in some other way from iCloud?

    Swappa is a ghost town in the UK.
     
  12. 960design macrumors 68020

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    #12
    What other way could it be locked via the cloud? It could be passcode locked or passcode/restriction disabled, but these can be overcome by a simple DFU restore via iTunes. The Activation Lock is the kicker.

    All of our corporate devices also have additional protection in the form of DEP. It is an Apple program that forces all of our devices to check in with our server the moment they are activated, with or without Activation Lock turned on.

    There is absolutely NO way to defeat consumer Activation Lock with access to only the iOS device ( I know, it's my job - full disclosure: I can bypass your Activation Lock if I have the computer that has an iTunes backup on it as well as your iOS device ). I can defeat the Activation Lock on a corporate device ( but it is not easy ), but the forced Supervision will still catch me if have stolen it.

    Too many secrets given this day... I go back to my cave to meditate.



    That is awesome!
     
  13. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #13
    Does that activation lock bypass only apply to corporate devices you control? Because I mean if I could do that I'd be able to turn a massive profit from all those iPhones being sold at £50 because of the lock... :p
     
  14. Luis G. macrumors member

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    #14
    Yes it is possible.
    If you are using an iPhone which already has an iCloud account logged into it could potentially be later on erased/icloud locked. This is why it's critical that any iPhone you use that it is not locked any account.
     
  15. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #15
    Isn't this why Gazelle has you disable Find my iPhone?
     
  16. Luis G. macrumors member

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    #16
    Almost everyone does. But that's about the only way can think of to use a phone unknowingly and have it locked out later.
     
  17. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #17
    Thought as much, thanks.

    If you sell iDevices to a shop they will ask you for your iCloud password or make you show them that there is no iCloud account set up, in my experience at least.
     
  18. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #18
    They really expect people to give them their password?
     
  19. 960design macrumors 68020

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    #19
    Yes, activation lock bypass only applies corporate DEP devices.
     
  20. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #20
    Yep. I'd already done a factory reset though so I just showed them it wasn't locked and they were cool.
     
  21. gardiboy macrumors 6502a

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    #21
  22. FargoKill macrumors newbie

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    #22
    The lock will appear when the owner decides it. Also, most people do not make a very good check to the iPhone they are planning to buy. You need to verify that the previous owner has erased his/her device, so afterwards he will not be able to lock it. If you are planning to buy a second hand iPhone, first make a full IMEI Check, a Blacklist check and also check if the Find My iPhone feature is ON. Depending on those results, you should buy or not buy it! :D
     
  23. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #23
    Pretty odd. I can definitely understand asking people to disable it right there if it wasn't already done before, but to ask people form their password to their account, that's rather ballsy.
     
  24. newellj macrumors 601

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    #24
    Worse than ballsy. If I were running a store, the LAST thing I would want is random employees gaining possession of personal login credentials that would give access to personal, private information.
     
  25. AFDoc macrumors 68030

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    #25
    So you have a stolen iPhone and you're trying to figure out how to get around the security?
     

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