Lost/Stolen iPhone activation

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by koala11, May 1, 2012.

  1. koala11 macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2012
    My sister lost her iPhone 4S little more than a month ago, she got crazy and somehow got a new phone from them (Verizon). So few days ago the phone turns up. I thought that I might be able to activate it and use it for myself. So I called Verizon and told them that I have an iPhone 4S that would like to get a line for with them. They asked me for the IMEI but they said that is blocked due to being claimed lost/stolen. They suggested to tell the owner to remove the lost/stolen claim, something my sister doesn't want to do as she thinks she will have to return the new phone or that it will get blocked instead (I believe that too, is it correct?).

    So, it is any way to activate her old iPhone? Can I unlock it and use it with another carrier? Or there is no way to reuse the phone?

    Thanks in advance
  2. rjohnstone macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2007
    PHX, AZ.
    Nope... Verizon will not activate it... ever.
    You have a nice iPod Touch. Enjoy.

    Technically your sister should return the new phone since her original was recovered.
    But since she doesn't want to go that route, she can call and tell them she found it and pay for the replacement phone she received from them so she won't have to worry about the line being deactivated.
    Then both of you will have one. ;)
  3. falterego macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2008
    Southern California
    Based on every insurance contract I've seen from the carriers, including Verizon, the lost phone must be returned to the insurance company if found. If the person decides to keep their original phone, they are required to send back (at the user's cost) the replacement phone they were issued. You didn't pay for two devices, so I don't see why you should expect to keep two devices.

    Edit: rjohnstone beat me to it by seconds.
  4. Gator24765 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2009
    Yeah this phone will have a bad esn and it basically a paper weight.
  5. lexdiamonnyc macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2012
    you can get it activated on one of the cheaper month by month services......metro, h20, etc, etc........
  6. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Technically it's no longer your phone. Return it and move on.
  7. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Phone insurance fraud 101.

    And this s example umber one why phone insurance deductibles have gone way up.

    Although it was innocent lost claim by your sister. Many others in the past have purposely tried they maneuver.
  8. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Depending on who the insurance is through, they may tell you to just keep it.
  9. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Bottom line. It's a Verizon iPhone with bad esn. Like other posters said. Verizon will not activate on their network.

    They have an iPod touch or try to find someone who can flash it to other CDMA carriers like metro pcs.
  10. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    If it's unlocked, and they do tell you to keep it, you can always sell to an overseas buyer.
  11. lexdiamonnyc macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2012
    c'mon guys, it's not that serious or complicated......

    like I said before, Metro PCS or H20 will activate it for you.......and it will function as a normal iphone would.

    it has a bad ESN so none of the major carriers will activate it for you.

    you can sell it on craigslist for $300-400 even with a bad esn......
  12. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    It wont work with h2o since that's gsm and uses AT&T towers.
    Metro I believe will allow it to be activated on their network.
  13. Mrslewis25 macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2012
    Yeah, it may work but will you be able to download iTunes and apps? Because my iPhone 4S was stolen and in Houston,TX we don't have Metro here! In my case, the girl who take my phone, I don't want her to activate my iPhone! And I hope that she turn on the "Find My Phone" on, because I'm still tracking my iPhone down! (activate or not)
    Please late me know because I payed $700.00 for a new iPhone. But I still miss my old one!!!!
  14. Lelegyrl macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2012
    The 4s' have sim cards as well.. Find one cut it down exactly like the one in the 4s. My brother in law did it with his "lost" 4s and hooked it up. Shouldnt be a problem after that. Or you could flash it to a cell phone "mom&pop" shop. Actual metro store might not do it.. :)
  15. ANMA dojo macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    if it has not been updated to iOS 6, you can unlock it for AT&T or T-mobile (or other GSM networks) with a Gevey Sim... $10-15 on ebay.
  16. ammarkr macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2013
    When you guys say that a phone is "blacklisted" by Verizon, what does that actually mean? That it's not receiving any more network coverage, it is receiving coverage but can't make any calls, or that the phone has been locked altogether and can't even get to the home screen until it goes through the activation process again (through iTunes or whatever)?

    And from what I've been able to tell online, the guy who's posted the question will be able to activate the phone for use on smaller carriers such as Cricket but not on any of the major ones such as AT&T right (unless he uses a hardware unlock such as Gevey or rsim, in which case he can use it anywhere)? Firstly, how would one go about this activation? Is flashing to a custom firmware required?

    Secondly, if I were in a similar situation, could I (without doing any sort of activation in the US) simply take the iPhone abroad with me and start using it on any international carrier (only simple GSM networks), or would it still somehow be locked and require activation before use? (I'm assuming that it's an iPhone 5, which would have come factory unlocked and not require unlocking for intl use).

    Thank you in advance for bearing with someone reviving an old thread :)
  17. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    If your sister calls then they will take the esn off the blacklist. She won't have to return the other phone. The insurance company and Verizon are separate.
  18. ammarkr macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2013
    Oh, and further to my questions above, let's suppose I buy a bad ESN iPhone 5 and it turns out that, even to use it abroad, I need to get the ESN cleaned and the phone unlocked.

    If I get it flashed to Metro (or any other carrier) and get it activated by them, will this mean that it's now got a clean ESN and is now SIM unlocked, so that I can use it freely on any network abroad? (Even if it's not SIM unlocked, there are unlocking services out there that can unlock it once it's got a clean ESN).

    I'm asking this because, from what I've been able to find online, ESN cleaning costs upwards of around $75, and unlocking around $10-20, whereas this carrier flashing/activation process costs only around $50, so that would actually save me money.
  19. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    The esn status doesn't affect its use abroad. I really doubt esn can be cleaned.
  20. ammarkr macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2013
    Yeah, the ESN itself shouldn't be a problem abroad, but what I'm worried about is the unlock status. If the phone is locked to Verizon (which I've heard the iPhone 5 shouldn't be), then I would first have to get its ESN cleaned, and then get it unlocked (since that's a prerequisite for unlocking, from what I've been able to gather online).

    Secondly, I'm worried that if I upgrade the firmware in the future, the phone would then require activation through iTunes (not through the carrier). Again, in such a case I would have to get the ESN cleaned.

    Hence my earlier questions about whether flashing to a smaller carrier cleans the ESN, and whether Verizon iPhone 5's come factory unlocked so that they can be used with local SIM's abroad.
  21. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    Not sure about Verizon, but I was able to unlock an att iPhone 5 with bad imei using eBay.
  22. SR45 macrumors 65832


    Aug 17, 2011
    Poster only posted once, and that was almost a year ago. Why respond to him now ?
  23. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    Never checked to see when the og post was done. The topic just showed up on the main page.
  24. possh23 macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2013
    my metro pcs phone

    I lost my metro pcs phone, I reported it lost, I had insurance so I paid a lower price for a new phone and I found my phone so now my question is can I reactivate it? give it to my daughter ect? are they unlockable
  25. jmarquez730 macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2013
    Found out the iPhone 4s phone I bought online is either reported lost or stolen it's unlocked the only carrier not mainstream is cricket will they connect for me???

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31 May 1, 2012