please help!!!!! (Craigslist purchase question)

maegen117

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
2
0
hi, i am trying to buy an iphone 5s from someone on craigslilst. she says the phone was never activated.. and its a cricket phone, never has been flashed. if the esn is good today but they claim its stolen after i buy it, would i not be able to use it for any other carrier, for example, metro pcs,? is there a time limit to where it will be okay after a few months? (so ive heard)? i have been scammed quite a few times and i want to know what my options are, if any. thanks!
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,864
1,480
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
If they sell it to you, and they are a scumbag, they can claim it stolen and you'll end up with a nice brick. Major carriers like Sprint or Verizon share the database, but I'm not sure on smaller regional. In any case, assume yes.
 

PNutts

macrumors 601
Jul 24, 2008
4,835
336
Pacific Northwest, US
If you don't mind saying, what's the phone's capacity and color and asking price? Folks here have a lot of experience with pricing and if the asking price is low it's a big red flag.

No matter what they tell you, make them Erase all Contents and Settings in front of you.
 

maegen117

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 9, 2014
2
0
It is a cricket iphine 5s gold.. she wants $400 for it. Claims she moved over to att. I called cricket directly and they said it has a good imei number. But I live in buffalo NY.. there is a lot of ppl selling phones and then reporting them stolen. I hear you should ask them to see their I.d but I don't want to cause any problems if it offends them.

----------

I guess its still in the box.. crickets website asks $600 brand new.
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,864
1,480
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Capacity? I assume by Cricket's $600 asking price, it's the base 16GB version. If it is, rule of thumb is, if a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.

Also, think about it, in ~4 months a $200 drop in price for an iPhone is steep.
 

ugcop

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2012
599
103
Traveling @ Warp Speed ...... USA
hi, i am trying to buy an iphone 5s from someone on craigslilst. she says the phone was never activated.. and its a cricket phone, never has been flashed. if the esn is good today but they claim its stolen after i buy it, would i not be able to use it for any other carrier, for example, metro pcs,? is there a time limit to where it will be okay after a few months? (so ive heard)? i have been scammed quite a few times and i want to know what my options are, if any. thanks!
Best option is to walk away.
 

JOSE891

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2012
600
2
Las Vegas
I say buy directly form Apple or a authorized 3rd party seller (BestBuy, WalMart, etc), I've had too many problems buying used phones on CL.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,867
3,405
Boston, MA
It's a cricket phone... so I wouldn't call $400 too good to be true.

The bottom line is you can be burned. But since cricket is off contract, that seems unlikely. What motive would they have (other than being a jerk?)

I would ask for a receipt. If she has the thing unopened, I don't think that is unreasonable. If she wants to block out the purchase price (for whatever reason) that would be fine too/
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,974
815
Capacity? I assume by Cricket's $600 asking price, it's the base 16GB version. If it is, rule of thumb is, if a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.



Also, think about it, in ~4 months a $200 drop in price for an iPhone is steep.

I dont think so. It's a cricket 5s which has very limited use compared to a verizon, tmobile and AT&T one. $400 or lower is what I would expect to pay for a cricket 5s. You can get an AT&T 5s for $450 in my area.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,835
30,355
Boston
i have been scammed quite a few times and i want to know what my options are, if any. thanks!
I think if you've been scammed a number of times, perhaps you should avoid CL - I would.

I'd look to getting one new instead of taking a chance.
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,864
1,480
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Are you planning on using it on cricket?
Cause it wont work with any other carrier, its locked.
I dont think so. It's a cricket 5s which has very limited use compared to a verizon, tmobile and AT&T one. $400 or lower is what I would expect to pay for a cricket 5s. You can get an AT&T 5s for $450 in my area.
Consider what Applejuiced said.


My advice OP, walk away.
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,612
803
Los Angeles, CA
If you don't mind saying, what's the phone's capacity and color and asking price? Folks here have a lot of experience with pricing and if the asking price is low it's a big red flag.

No matter what they tell you, make them Erase all Contents and Settings in front of you.
More than that, activate it before you pay. Because there is a bug going around where you can get a device to think iCloud is turned off but it's not. So the erase won't ask for the iCloud password but the lock is in place
 

Prise

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2008
241
0
I think if you've been scammed a number of times, perhaps you should avoid CL - I would.

I'd look to getting one new instead of taking a chance.
Right, with everything that's going on these days, I'd avoid CL, ebay, and the secondary marketplaces.

For my taste, it isn't worth the risks and headaches to save a few dollars.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,430
15,978
So, is there any safe way to buy a used phone these days from another person? Seems like no matter what they can report the phone stolen or something like that after the fact and that's that. How are people even buying/selling (used) phones then? It pretty much doesn't make any sense.
 

Prise

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2008
241
0
So, is there any safe way to buy a used phone these days from another person? Seems like no matter what they can report the phone stolen or something like that after the fact and that's that. How are people even buying/selling (used) phones then? It pretty much doesn't make any sense.
The safest way would be from a friend IRL, but, even then, there aren't any assurances he'll continue to make payments on the phone.

CL seems the most risky to me, especially with the potential of fake chargebacks, faux theft claims, and missed installment payments on the phone. While Ebay isn't much better, at least the buyer can always complain to PayPal for up to 6 weeks after the purchase.

For me, I wouldn't risk either CL or Ebay.
 

Dontazemebro

macrumors 68020
Jul 23, 2010
2,173
0
I dunno, somewhere in West Texas
Can't you meet at a cricket Store and make the purchase, that way you can immediately add it to your account so there's no way they can report it stolen. Once it's added on to your account it should be your phone, right? Or does it not work like that?
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,974
815
Can't you meet at a cricket Store and make the purchase, that way you can immediately add it to your account so there's no way they can report it stolen. Once it's added on to your account it should be your phone, right? Or does it not work like that?

Adding to your account does not prove anything. The person who sold it to you could have stolen it from someone else and then sold it to you.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,430
15,978
Adding to your account does not prove anything. The person who sold it to you could have stolen it from someone else and then sold it to you.
If that's really the case then that's fairly sad. Goes back to basically what I said about it being essentially useless to buy a used phone from someone. Seems that pretty much destroys people being able to sell their phones. Interesting how issues like this don't really exist with other items like computers or TVs or even cars where people buy and sell used ones all the time without too much trouble.
 

Prise

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2008
241
0
Adding to your account does not prove anything. The person who sold it to you could have stolen it from someone else and then sold it to you.
Right, or could have bought the phone with a stolen CC, stolen PayPal account, or stolen bank account, and listed it for sale.

Depending on the victim, it may not be reported until he receives the statement 30 days later, while with others, it may be reported much more quickly.
 

mKTank

macrumors 68000
Jul 2, 2010
1,537
3
If you don't mind saying, what's the phone's capacity and color and asking price? Folks here have a lot of experience with pricing and if the asking price is low it's a big red flag.

No matter what they tell you, make them Erase all Contents and Settings in front of you.
Not enough! Make them also turn off Find My iPhone and delete the associated iCloud account as well!
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,430
15,978
Not enough! Make them also turn off Find My iPhone and delete the associated iCloud account as well!
Seems like that isn't enough to stop someone from reporting the phone as stolen or stop paying on it (if part of a contract upgrade).
 

mKTank

macrumors 68000
Jul 2, 2010
1,537
3
Seems like that isn't enough to stop someone from reporting the phone as stolen or stop paying on it (if part of a contract upgrade).
Well yeah. That's why I always save names, addresses, license plates for a while. As well as my own phone's serial and IMEI if I'm doing a trade so that I could report it stolen as well if they do.

But yeah, no guarantees.
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,974
815
If that's really the case then that's fairly sad. Goes back to basically what I said about it being essentially useless to buy a used phone from someone. Seems that pretty much destroys people being able to sell their phones. Interesting how issues like this don't really exist with other items like computers or TVs or even cars where people buy and sell used ones all the time without too much trouble.

The truth is 95 percent of people are honest. In 2013 I purchased close to 50 phones from Craigslist. These phones were iphone 5, 4s, 4, galaxy s4, galaxy note 1 + 2, htc one x, BB9900, htc vivid, s2. Only one person sold me a phone that had a bad imei. Do your homework and go with your gut. Also never buy at market value. Low ball the seller. This way if you end up with bad phone you can still sell it and break even.
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,582
1,615
DE
Personally, I would never buy a phone from CL. At least with eBay, you as the buyer are protected in the case the seller rips you off. Once you exchange cash with the seller on CL, and the phone ends up not working, you're screwed out of that money.