HELP! Sold new iPhone 4s, buyer claims they need my SS# to activate

Discussion in 'iOS 5 and earlier' started by KyleC, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. KyleC macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I sold my new AT&T iPhone 4s to someone on eBay, unopened. It was ordered as an upgrade from They received it and took out the sim that came with it and plugged in their t-mobile sim. I informed them at this time that phone cannot be unlocked and used with t-mobile, they knew that, they just want to use it as an ipod touch untill the unlock comes out. So how can they use the phone?

    So in the meantime the say they can't use the phone unless they have my at&t billing zip and last 4 of Social. If they enter this I am afraid my service is going to transfer to the sim card that came with the new phone. They are claiming they have to have this info to use the phone at all, EVER.

    What do I do? Can an at&t store make it work?
  2. bk123 macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2011
    This is TRUE!, Yes they do need last 4 and billing zip.
    I also bought a iPhone off someone and it arrived sealed..

    So he's telling the truth
  3. KyleC thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    OK, then didn't his service transfer to the sim that came with the new phone? What did the seller do about that?
  4. Bootleg2go macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2011
    Don't give that info to anyone.
    It will transfer your cell number to that phone and then the buyer will have your AT&T account.
    Tell the buyer he will need to go to AT&T and get an AT&T account or wait until it's possible to get his current service on it.
  5. viewfly, Nov 10, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011

    viewfly macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2009
    Nope, ATT cannot help you or him. Its a new procedure.

    Have him ship the phone back to you. You will need to activate it. The ATT store cannot help you. The phone must be activated with the SIM card that was shipped with it.

    I went through this with a family plan upgrade.

    Go here for instructions:

    Basically, you must activate the phone (with SS numbers, etc). Once activated, you remove that sim and place it into your current phone ( your old sim with be no good). Reset the iPhone 4S ( Settings->General-> Reset->Erase All Content and Settings)
    and ship the phone to him.

    He then can use it as a iTouch or put a Sim inside for iphone.

    This is a new procedure for the 4S, straight from ATT. It works this way since the new SiIM used in your new iPhone 4S is tied to your account and that iPhone.

    And yes if you give him that info, you just gave him your ATT SIM and your phone will not work anymore.
  6. kicko macrumors 65816

    Aug 26, 2008
    Call AT&T and see if you can get a 3-way call with you and the buyer
  7. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yet another reason Verizon and Sprint are better ;)
  8. GraphicsGeek macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2008

    He needs to get his own AT&T SIM. He's trying to use your AT&T SIM. He does not need that info to activate the phone with his own SIM. Normally, a buyer who has AT&T can just stick their SIM in and use the phone. I've had my same cut down SIM since the original iPhone and just keep using it on each iPhone with no problems. Its in my iPhone 4S now. The buyer is stuck with a useless iPhone until an unlock comes out or he gets an AT&T SIM.
  9. viewfly macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2009
    The OP should have activated the phone for him before shipping, and then removed the sim.
  10. mactmaster macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2010
    Phones purchased using a subsidized AT&T upgrade must be activated on the purchasing line using the included SIM card. This initial activation finalizes the purchase of the phone and sets your new upgrade date on AT&T. After the initial activation, the included SIM can be removed and another one can be inserted.

    Source: Me, I did this with another line on my FamilyPlan

    The information is necessary to activate the phone but you should not sent it to the buyer as he will then have access to your AT&T account. Do as others have suggested, have him ship the phone back, activate it then send it back without the SIM. The buyer can then take it to any AT&T store and they'll give them a new SIM and activate the phone on their account.
  11. KyleC thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Thank you to everyone. Looks like I made myself a mess here. Gonna have to ship the phone back and forth again.

    I really appreciate y'all sharing your knowledge.
  12. GraphicsGeek macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2008
    Activating it for him and then sending it back without the SIM is useless if he doesn't have an AT&T account. The phone is unusable without a SIM card. He will need an AT&T SIM on his own account to get it working..
  13. sawah macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2010

    He doesn't want to use it as a phone, just an ipod until the unlock comes out. So while he still has to send it back to the sender, any old at&t sim will work even if he doesn't have an account.
  14. Tenchi76 macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2011
    One other thing to look out for is if you plan on getting the phone shipped back to activate it for him.

    even If you do a master reset after it’s done activating, you will still need a att sim that is brand new with out a phon number attach to it to reactivate for usage, you can’t activate without a sim.

    Do not activate it for him with any of your sim, if it was originally attached your phone number, it seems that ios5 and the phone does not forget the phone number from the last sim used until a different sim is put in, even after a full master reset.

    What this will cause is that he can now setup imessage and few other services, and he will be able to view and replies to messages that belong to you as it is link to the phone number as it will use this number to access apple server.

    There were many other post around for ip4 sold with ios5 beta and final, where you can still track find my phone, and messages being peeked into. after full reset.

    So beware of this issue, I don’t know if this issue has been fixed or not. But I had to deal with it for the ios 5.0 ip4 I sold.

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