Question about a possible scam

thecoloroflight

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 15, 2011
12
0
Hi,

I just bought an iPhone on Craigslist for $70, with a "bad ESN." I am not going to use the phone function of the phone, so that doesn't matter. I am just using it for wireless, iPod, camera, etc. For some weird reason, he didn't clear the phone. So it has all his photos, emails, etc. There are lots of photos of random phones, and one weird one of a bunch of money. And many Notes of Craigslist addresses, etc. Seems like he does this kind of thing a lot. It's just so strange that he left all that info on there. I can't see any way that he would take advantage of me... he doesn't know my address at all. But is there any reason I shouldn't connect this to my computer ? Restoring it through iTunes should be sufficient, right ?

Thanks !
 

The Doctor11

macrumors 603
Dec 15, 2013
5,907
1,291
New York
I think the first problem here is you buy a phone and it comes with the pervious owners stuff on it you go looking through it. I'm just wondering witch iPhone you bought and I think you should go settings general reset and then erase everything. If you need a password you need to get it from who sold it to you. Then go from there.
 

thecoloroflight

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 15, 2011
12
0
Oh sure, I plan on erasing everything. I am not the type of person to pry... I mean, I wasn't invading his privacy, but I couldn't help but see what photos were on there. And when I saw all the pics of phones, it made me a bit skeptical. And the fact that he didn't erase it himself...
Anyway, as long as there's no risk of something from the phone getting on the computer even after I restore it, I'll just go ahead and do that.

Sorry, I know, weird situation.

Thanks
 

lelisa13p

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2009
1,913
30
Atlanta, GA USA
The only reason that I can think of why someone wouldn't wipe their phone before selling is because it's a stolen phone. Why should the seller care about what's on there? He might also have used it for some random CL stuff between snatching it and selling it.
 

regkilla

macrumors 6502
Mar 19, 2013
294
49
California
I think the first problem here is you buy a phone and it comes with the pervious owners stuff on it you go looking through it. I'm just wondering witch iPhone you bought and I think you should go settings general reset and then erase everything. If you need a password you need to get it from who sold it to you. Then go from there.
The iPhone was sold to him so he has every right to look through it as it's his now.

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A risk that they have put a virus on it or something. You never know.
No risk.
 

luckydcxx

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2013
1,150
419
iOS 7? don't you have to enter your apple id email and password to reset the phone?
 

Cartaphilus

macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2007
569
36
A phone with a bad ESN may very well have been reported stolen to the carrier which removed the ESN from its cleared list. It may also have been reported lost, or the carrier may have had a credit or contractual issue with its erstwhile subscriber.

Many principled buyers and sellers of cell phones refuse to trade in those with bad ESN's if the carrier reports the number as "lost or stolen", which is as close as the system gets to reporting a stolen phone. (This may be because a misplaced phone is considered stolen under most state laws if the finder makes no reasonable effort to return it, but simply treats it as his own.)

The circumstances under which someone buys a phone with a bad ESN without inquiring of the carrier to determine its status may provide ample reason to call into question the ethics of the seller or the buyer, but the likelihood of a strong correlation between a bad ESN and harmful viruses or malware is slight.