Backstory, Skip if You Like: I am a college student that was buying a new iPhone 5s. Last Thursday, I bought a, unbeknownst to me, stolen iPhone from a guy off craigslist. Before I went, I check a bunch of websites to ensure that it wasn't stolen. I even went to AT&T to ensure that the IMEI wasn't blacklisted and I spent probably 30 minutes just researching to see if it was stolen. Everything came back clear. I went back to my dorm to get it activated with my SIM and to start enjoying the phone. I start the process and I come to iCloud Activation Lock, which is impossible to completely get past nor do I want a stolen iPhone. After I found out that it was stolen, I saw that iCould provided a number to call. I thought, "Great, I may have been scammed, but maybe I can get a person their phone back". I called the number and it went to a voicemail box that wasn't set up so I couldn't leave a message. I called four times with about an hour between each call. I decided that maybe I can go to AT&T and give them the IMEI and then they can call the account holder, which I did the next day. I went over and they couldn't pull up any information off the IMEI, so I gave up on that. I went back to my dorms and looked at a few videos that showed you could bypass the iCloud lock and then get the email address that it was locked to. I tried this for about an hour with no luck because the iPhone is on 8.0.2. But during this time, I decided to just plug it into iExplorer, which on a normal iPhone lets you see contacts. I thought that maybe there would be a contact named "Mom" or "Dad" and then I could call that number. Well, that didn't work because the phone was wiped, but I got the phone number that was tied with the ICCID/ iPhone. I decided to call that number because if the previous owner might have gotten a new phone and the number would go to that phone. I called and it went straight to voicemail, which I think means the owner hasn't gotten a new phone yet. Well, great, no progress. But, I had the idea that I could go to the AT&T store, give them that number, and they could call the account holder's, which they did. They got a voicemail box and left a message. So, at this point, I was ready to give up and just return it to the police, but I talked to my parents first. They told me that I had focused a lot of my energy on contacting the old owner, but that person may not want the phone anymore or may have already got her insurance money. So here is my question: Is there anyway that I can legally own this phone or get my money back out of the phone? My mother suggested that I turn it over to the police and if it goes unclaimed that I could ask them to contact me before an unclaimed property action and they may give it back and write me a recipe that states it is my property. With this recipe, I could go to Apple and have they unlock it. My father suggested that I send a certified letter to the address on file with AT&T (I would write the letter and have them mail it after I paid for the postage so that I never get the customer's information). Then I would wait thirty days after confirmed delivery and then call the phone mine. Ultimately, I need to prove the phone is mine for Apple to possibly disable Activation Lock. Any suggestions would be great. I would just like to get my money back out of the phone or have a working phone because I have tried really hard to return the phone to the owner. TL;DR: I bought an iPhone and have been trying to return the phone with no luck. I am a college student and would like to get my money back or have a working phone in some legal way. I need some suggestions on what I could do. Thank you for your time.