iPhone X iPhone’s IMEI is linked to previous owner

Alt1acc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2019
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I bought a new iPhone X last week, only to find out a few days later that it was locked to Bell, despite what the seller had told me. I called Bell and they said that the phone’s IMEI is linked to an active account and I cannot get it unlocked without the original buyer’s permission. I have contacted the seller, but he is completely unresponsive to my calls and texts.

I just got a plan with Virgin Mobile for this phone (Virgin mobile and Bell share the same network so their sims are compatible with my locked phone), but I am worried that the IMEI of this phone can eventually prove to be a problem since it is still liked to someone else’s account. I was hoping that Virgin Mobile or Bell could transfer my IMEI from the other person’s account to my account, and I could request to unlock it after I’ve used their (Virgin Mobile) service, but I’m not sure if or how that would work. Even though I have made an account with them, the phone is still technically linked to another person’s account and is therefore not unlockable by me. Bell support also told me that I can not authorize the unlocking process since I am not the original owner of the phone. I asked them if they could contact or get in touch with the owner of the account, but they told me that it isn’t possible.


Is there a way to unlock this phone such as using a third party unlocking tool such as Mr.Sim even though the IMEI is still with a Bell account? I was thinking that I should get AppleCare+ on it, break the phone and receive a replacement one with a brand new IMEI, just to be sure that I won’t have any problems in the future but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea.

Any help with this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2014
939
345
By definition, it doesn't sound like a new phone IF it's a iPhone X. That model was renamed the iPhone XS last year (Sep '18). Without knowing more, it looks like the seller sold you a stolen phone. IF you paid for it with a credit card, I think you should open an immediate dispute with your credit card company.
 
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Alt1acc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2019
9
0
By definition, it doesn't sound like a new phone IF it's a iPhone X. That model was renamed the iPhone XS last year (Sep '18). Without knowing more, it looks like the seller sold you a stolen phone. IF you paid for it with a credit card, I think you should open an immediate dispute with your credit card company.
Unfortunately for me, I payed cash and in person to the seller. The phone was brand new in it's box and an Apple employee checked it and said it was purchased through Bell this year in June, so I don't think it was exactly stolen, just still connected to the person that bought it, but I guess I'll never know.
 

watakoola

macrumors member
Aug 23, 2010
37
30
Australia
I was thinking that I should get AppleCare+ on it, break the phone and receive a replacement one with a brand new IMEI, just to be sure that I won’t have any problems in the future but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea.
Seriously? So you want to be as big a grub as the grub who sold you the phone? Nice.
 
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Alt1acc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2019
9
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You live in Canada?

Read this:

https://www.canada.ca/en/radio-television-telecommunications/news/2017/06/crtc_puts_an_endtolockedcellphonesandunlockingfees.html

This part could help: "...all newly purchased devices must be provided unlocked from that day forward..." so try to get the original purchase date.

It MIGHT help your case, but no guarantees.
Yeah, I was hoping it would, but I have contacted Bell multiple times and they refuse to unlock my iPhone without the original owner. Maybe the CRTC can help me?
 

watakoola

macrumors member
Aug 23, 2010
37
30
Australia
It's not the ideal solution, but i'm out my money and I'm running out of options.
Really? Let's hope one of your neighbours doesn't break something and see a replacement in your house...

Seriously, did you buy it off eBay? Do you have any recompense to get a refund for an incorrect description of the phone's status?

Update: just re-read and saw you paid cash, so you're up that well-known creek without a paddle.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,477
13,411
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
The problem here isn't with getting the device unlocked, it's with the IMEI.

Unlocking just lets you take the device to any carrier. It doesn't do anything to help you if the device is eventually blacklisted (and the blacklist is shared with your current carrier).

So…breaking the device gets you a replacement. Since Apple replaces like for like, guess what happens? They check the IMEI of the previous device and what do you know? Previous device is locked. So, you get back a locked device.

OK, now it's got a different IMEI but you're still back at square one. Because you have to get the carrier to unlock it. Maybe you get lucky and they don't cross-reference the new IMEI to the old IMEI (since this is a replacement) but you're still having to deal with the problem.

You may luck out and get it unlocked that way, but it's going to be a journey.
 
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StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2014
939
345
Unfortunately for me, I payed cash and in person to the seller. The phone was brand new in it's box and an Apple employee checked it and said it was purchased through Bell this year in June, so I don't think it was exactly stolen, just still connected to the person that bought it, but I guess I'll never know.
Wondering how an Apple employee got into this deal to "check it out?" When I'm selling something local, I insist that the buyer provide me with a telephone contact. IF I were buying, I would do the same thing. And I always do these deals at a local Starbucks as I don't want a stranger coming into my home.

If you have the goonball's address, I would get the police involved.
 
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tonybarnaby

macrumors 68000
Dec 3, 2017
1,906
1,312
Reason #1,000,000 why I never buy used. I sell plenty of phones on swappa, but these days there are too many scammers and desperate people out there.
 
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Alt1acc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2019
9
0
Wondering how an Apple employee got into this deal to "check it out?" When I'm selling something local, I insist that the buyer provide me with a telephone contact. IF I were buying, I would do the same thing. And I always do these deals at a local Starbucks as I don't want a stranger coming into my home.

If you have the goonball's address, I would get the police involved.
I went to the apple store a few days later because my Fido sim stopped working in the phone and he gave me the bad news that the phone was locked to Bell.
I have this guy’s number, I have the screenshots of our convos, I have the ad ID, I have his Kijiji profile and the other things that he is selling on there, and I know how he looks, but not his address. I’ve called him and texted him and still.. no response.
 

StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2014
939
345
I went to the apple store a few days later because my Fido sim stopped working in the phone and he gave me the bad news that the phone was locked to Bell.
I have this guy’s number, I have the screenshots of our convos, I have the ad ID, I have his Kijiji profile and the other things that he is selling on there, and I know how he looks, but not his address. I’ve called him and texted him and still.. no response.
Did you google his name? Sometimes that yields an address.
[doublepost=1564329643][/doublepost]
Reason #1,000,000 why I never buy used. I sell plenty of phones on swappa, but these days there are too many scammers and desperate people out there.
I would agree generally, but with a face-to-face meeting and putting a good aim in the unit, I think you should be able to tell immediately.

I sold an iPhone maybe 6 or 7 years ago. My buyer put his zim in my phone and was immediately able to make a call. Needless to say he bought the phone. The reason he bought the phone was that he went "swimming" with his old phone and he didn't want his wife to know.
 

maerz001

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2010
1,345
991
I went to the apple store a few days later because my Fido sim stopped working in the phone and he gave me the bad news that the phone was locked to Bell.
I have this guy’s number, I have the screenshots of our convos, I have the ad ID, I have his Kijiji profile and the other things that he is selling on there, and I know how he looks, but not his address. I’ve called him and texted him and still.. no response.
Report on kijiji and police.
And buy a new phone
 

MacModMachine

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2009
2,261
142
Canada
I bought a new iPhone X last week, only to find out a few days later that it was locked to Bell, despite what the seller had told me. I called Bell and they said that the phone’s IMEI is linked to an active account and I cannot get it unlocked without the original buyer’s permission. I have contacted the seller, but he is completely unresponsive to my calls and texts.

I just got a plan with Virgin Mobile for this phone (Virgin mobile and Bell share the same network so their sims are compatible with my locked phone), but I am worried that the IMEI of this phone can eventually prove to be a problem since it is still liked to someone else’s account. I was hoping that Virgin Mobile or Bell could transfer my IMEI from the other person’s account to my account, and I could request to unlock it after I’ve used their (Virgin Mobile) service, but I’m not sure if or how that would work. Even though I have made an account with them, the phone is still technically linked to another person’s account and is therefore not unlockable by me. Bell support also told me that I can not authorize the unlocking process since I am not the original owner of the phone. I asked them if they could contact or get in touch with the owner of the account, but they told me that it isn’t possible.


Is there a way to unlock this phone such as using a third party unlocking tool such as Mr.Sim even though the IMEI is still with a Bell account? I was thinking that I should get AppleCare+ on it, break the phone and receive a replacement one with a brand new IMEI, just to be sure that I won’t have any problems in the future but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea.

Any help with this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

this is common now , thief's sign up for as many phones as they can get and sell them , the eventually get blacklisted once they never pay the bills.
[doublepost=1564339219][/doublepost]
Report on kijiji and police.
And buy a new phone
completely a civil matter , police cannot do anything in canada about it. but they will get busted once the provider reports them. they loose alot of money in these scams. even when they do get reported i doubt they get much reprimand for it.
 

MacModMachine

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2009
2,261
142
Canada
By definition, it doesn't sound like a new phone IF it's a iPhone X. That model was renamed the iPhone XS last year (Sep '18). Without knowing more, it looks like the seller sold you a stolen phone. IF you paid for it with a credit card, I think you should open an immediate dispute with your credit card company.
this is normal , those phones are free sometimes on contract , thats why they get as many as they can to profit.
 

Breezygirl

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2011
631
424
Unfortunately for me, I payed cash and in person to the seller. The phone was brand new in it's box and an Apple employee checked it and said it was purchased through Bell this year in June, so I don't think it was exactly stolen, just still connected to the person that bought it, but I guess I'll never know.
Bell is a nightmare to deal with. No phone sold in June can be legally locked to any carrier in Canada. The phone mostly is reported as stolen/blacklisted and won’t work on any carrier.

I got a phone last year from Bell and two months later they mistakenly reported the phone stolen canceled my account and blacklisted my phone. Took several hours a day over three days for Bell to reinstate my account and unblacklist my phone. Even once unblacklisted it would not work with any carrier other then Bell even though Bell had removed the blacklist and carrier lock.

In the end I had to go to Apple where they also after resetting the phone as new with their software were unable to make the phone unlocked to any other carrier and gave me a “new” refurbished phone. After that run around I immediately canceled my Bell account and happily went back to Rogers.
 
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Alt1acc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2019
9
0
Bell is a nightmare to deal with. No phone sold in June can be legally locked to any carrier in Canada. The phone mostly is reported as stolen/blacklisted and won’t work on any carrier.

I got a phone last year from Bell and two months later they mistakenly reported the phone stolen canceled my account and blacklisted my phone. Took several hours a day over three days for Bell to reinstate my account and unblacklist my phone. Even once unblacklisted it would not work with any carrier other then Bell even though Bell had removed the blacklist and carrier lock.

In the end I had to go to Apple where they also after resetting the phone as new with their software were unable to make the phone unlocked to any other carrier and gave me a “new” refurbished phone. After that run around I immediately canceled my Bell account and happily went back to Rogers.
Thank you for your response. May I ask how you went about the situation with Apple? Did you need a warranty or AppleCare to have the situation resolved?
 

Alt1acc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2019
9
0
this is common now , thief's sign up for as many phones as they can get and sell them , the eventually get blacklisted once they never pay the bills.
[doublepost=1564339219][/doublepost]

completely a civil matter , police cannot do anything in canada about it. but they will get busted once the provider reports them. they loose alot of money in these scams. even when they do get reported i doubt they get much reprimand for it.
Is there anything that I can do before it gets blacklisted? Anything that I should say to Bell to hopefully avoid it?
 

Breezygirl

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2011
631
424
Thank you for your response. May I ask how you went about the situation with Apple? Did you need a warranty or AppleCare to have the situation resolved?
It was done under the one year warranty. Still didn’t make me too happy I got a refurbished phone from a mistake Bell made, I felt I should of got a new phone from Bell not have to go to Apple. Horrible customer service and whatever type of carrier block they put on my phone was permanent. They showed me on their computer it was unblacklisted and carrier unlocked but it did something to the phone as even resetting the phone back to factory would not unlock the carrier lock, even Apple couldn’t unlock it with their methods.

You can check your IMEI on this site and see if it’s blacklisted.

https://www.devicecheck.ca/check-status-device-canada/
 
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Alt1acc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2019
9
0
It was done under the one year warranty. Still didn’t make me too happy I got a refurbished phone from a mistake Bell made, I felt I should of got a new phone from Bell not have to go to Apple. Horrible customer service and whatever type of carrier block they put on my phone was permanent. They showed me on their computer it was unblacklisted and carrier unlocked but it did something to the phone as even resetting the phone back to factory would not unlock the carrier lock, even the Apple couldn’t unlock it with their methods.h

You can check your IMEI on this site and see if it’s blacklisted.

https://www.devicecheck.ca/check-status-device-canada/
Thanks. I have checked the IMEI and it is unblacklisted at the moment, but I have a feeling that it will get blacklisted in the next few days. The phone was purchased from Bell sometime this past June. If the seller has scammed me in the way that I'm thinking he has, the monthly plan from Bell will finish its first month at the end of July, in the next few days. Since the seller will not pay the bill for the month, it will result in Bell blacklisting the phone even though it is now in my possession. I'm pretty much screwed now, but thanks for all your help
 

steelhauler34

macrumors member
Jul 23, 2019
90
36
Yeah if you are buying on the secondary market you are so much better off using a reputable ebay seller or a legit business that deals in second hand devices. I like to use ebay sellers with thousands of feedback ratings. Its worth the piece of mind alone to pay a little more.
 

MacModMachine

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2009
2,261
142
Canada
Is there anything that I can do before it gets blacklisted? Anything that I should say to Bell to hopefully avoid it?
its a stolen phone , they write them off. your SOL unfortunately.

best thing you can do is hope its not blacklisted. bell may just send it to collections for the party that signed up for them. but in my experience when large groups of phones are signed up for they blacklist them all.

i have been ripped off a few times , no more second market for me :(
 

JPack

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2017
5,007
7,414
Cut your losses - not much you can do.

In the future, if you plan to buy phone on the secondary market, you should have the owner call the wireless carrier in front of you. During the call, the owner needs to confirm the phone has been paid off and to transfer the IMEI to another account.
 

bpeeps

macrumors 68040
May 6, 2011
3,016
2,693
Seriously? So you want to be as big a grub as the grub who sold you the phone? Nice.
It's not the ideal solution, but i'm out my money and I'm running out of options.
It doesn't matter. The timeframe for adding Applecare has already passed. And if you were still eligible, the AC client runs a diagnostic check to see if a phone is tied to icloud, damaged, or blacklisted. So you wouldn't be able to add it anyway.
 
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