Fake iPhone Scam Story

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by 321estrellas, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. 321estrellas macrumors 6502

    321estrellas

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #1
    I'm sure there have been posts like this in the past, but just thought I'd share a story that happened to me yesterday. With the iPhone 6s/6s plus hot off the market, it could be a good refresher for those who aren't educated.

    I contacted someone locally selling a iPhone 6s plus 128GB off craigslist for $950 CAD. She was willing to meet close to my area. She gave me the phone to check out and there were a ton of red flags:
    - Metal finish of the phone did not feel as premium as Apple's
    - Menu/screen/font was slightly off
    - Phone activity was slightly sluggish
    - Did a fresh reformat of the phone and some of the "get started" pages were different, even the loading wheel looked a bit different
    - Default country was China and default keyboard language was something else that wasn't English
    - Did not need the sim or connect to wifi to activate
    - When I finally got to the home screen, there were some default apps that were clearly not Apple (like Google Latitude...who uses that??)

    Needless to say, I told her I know exactly what she's trying to do, and she smirked, took the phone back, and walked away silently.

    Thankfully I've went through iPhone restores several times in the past week, so I knew exactly how the process should have been. Now I'm a pretty techy guy, and I can see these flags almost instantly, but I understand not everybody might catch these things. So I urge anyone buying an iPhone from an anonymous seller to:

    - TAKE YOUR TIME to examine the phone carefully, and see if anything feels off. If your instinct is that something isn't right, then something probably isn't right. If the seller won't let you check it out or is in a rush to get out of there, then consider that a huge red flag.
    - If you're not familiar to iPhones and iOS, bring a friend that is and have him/her check out the phone with you
    - If the deal is too good to be true, IT PROBABLY IS!

    And a couple general rules for buying iPhones off Craigslist...
    - Always meet face to face, in a public location
    - Never pay the seller through wire transfers and such. Paypal is a bit safer and offers buyer protection, but you'd REALLY have to trust the seller to make the transaction, though I would never use it for high dollar items.

    Hope this helps someone, somewhere :)
     
  2. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #2
    Knockoffs still suck very much so. It would take me .2 seconds to spot even a decent knockoff, although this could be good advice for the public who doesn't know what a good phone is.
     
  3. 321estrellas thread starter macrumors 6502

    321estrellas

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #3
    If the box was shrink wrapped, and for some reason I couldn't open it, I could have been fooled.

    If I could not turn on the display or touch the back, I *might* have been fooled.

    But what kind of silly buyer would I be not to do such things :)
     
  4. Matthew.H macrumors 6502

    Matthew.H

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #4
    I'm a pretty tech savvy person do I do know to spot a dodgy phone but this info could be invaluable to someone buying an iphone second hand who doesn't know what to look for.
     
  5. 321estrellas thread starter macrumors 6502

    321estrellas

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #5
    The scary thing is that the IMEI shows as Apple iPhone 6s Plus etc in online IMEI checkers. Makes it harder for me to pull the trigger on a sale even with established members with good feedback, where I can't meet face to face and check it out.

    I have bought tons of expensive things online without worry (mostly cameras and lenses) but iPhones are a different story as there are a lot of people out there intentionally scamming people with knockoffs...
     
  6. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

    MICHAELSD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #6
    It could definitely be a bit more iffy if the box was shrink wrapped, and it as a 1:1 replica although usually knockoff boxes have lower-quality printing which is easier to spot but certainly could fool the average consumer and I'm sure the knockoff boxes are better nowadays.
     
  7. Paddle1 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    #7
    $950 CAD is way too cheap, the unlocked 16GB regular 6s is already $899.
     
  8. 321estrellas thread starter macrumors 6502

    321estrellas

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #8
    For sure. A lot of these sellers will say it was a gift, they need it for school, my relative just passed away, etc...

    But honestly, who gives gifts like that?! I also see it on ads selling laptops and DSLR cameras/lenses. I need to be friends with them :)
     
  9. SisterBlue22 macrumors 6502a

    SisterBlue22

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2015
    Location:
    Arizona
    #9
    If you use PayPal, NEVER EVER send the payment as a "friends and family" payment, even if the seller begs you to. F&F transactions don't have any PayPal fees, which is why the seller wants you to use it, but it ALSO doesn't offer any buyer protection. The only way to pay a stranger with PayPal is with a "Goods and Services" transaction (or have the seller invoice you, which automatically makes it a "goods and services" transaction.) The seller has to pay fees (3%, if I recall correctly) on a goods and services transaction, but it offers buyer and seller protection.
     

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