Return IMEI blocked second hand phone to owner?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by spookyghost, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. spookyghost macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #1
    Picked up a second hand iPhone4 with a busted screen, no home button, and missing back plate. I replaced/repaired the thing, got it working again, and used it for a few months, no problemo.

    This morning, it's in SOS only mode, and after some messing around with the SIM, I checked the IMEI number, which is now blocked. It's locked to Optus, so I called them to try and see about getting in contact with original owner, but they said they don't do that sort of thing. The guy on the phone said I can drop it off to the police but that's it.

    I'm happy to return it to the original owner, as long as it's not the guy I bought it from. If he's just running some weird scam to sell the phone over and over again, I'd rather not.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    Some advice from a Officer! :D


    I would try to take it to the carrier (Verizon, AT&T or Sprint etc.) or take it to the police. Those people must have called the carrier and blacklisted the ESN/IMEI/MEID. That is known as Bad ESN, which makes the phone a brick. If all else fails, talk to the seller, if the sale was done over craigslist then it is tough. If the sale was done through eBay then open a case or dispute.





    Hope this helps,

    Officer Lopez (no joke)
     
  3. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #3
    No carrier will give you the previous owners phone number or contact info.
    Next time try not to buy any stolen items or you might end up in the same situation or worst.
     
  4. sviato macrumors 68020

    sviato

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    HR 9038 A
    #4
    Wow, great advice there, because you know sellers tell you that what they're selling is stolen
     
  5. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #5
    They will never tell you its stolen, you gotta do your own homework;)
     
  6. daaneel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    #6
    If it wasn't reported stolen till after he got it then how was he going to know? :rolleyes:
     
  7. superdudeo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #7
    Same thing happened to me. The IMEI blocking system in europe is massively flawed. You could sell it to outside the UK where it would work but apart from that, unless you know the owner, you're screwed.
     
  8. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #8
    Ask questions and if something doesn't sound or feel right you walk.
     
  9. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #9
    what? You're sinking.
     
  10. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #10
    Are you that naive? Anyone can go steal an iPhone and sell it quick before the owner reports it stolen and gets blacklisted.
    You ask the seller information and if he can't come up with answers or sounds fishy or like the merchandise might be stolen you walk away and don't waste your money.
    Is it that hard for you to comprehend?
     
  11. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #11
    Wow, thanks for breaking that down for me... phew! Totally redeemed yourself from that "you gotta do your homework" post
     
  12. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    PHX, AZ.
    #12
    Something being sold with a busted screen and missing parts is seriously low on the "it might be stolen" list.
    More like the owner effed it up and is trying to raise some phone replacement cash.
     
  13. kicko macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    #13
    I was under the assumption that if you activated it under your account beore its reported stolen they cant blacklist the ESN. Why would the carrier believe the prior owner over the new one? anything is possible.
     
  14. reefoid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    I'd take it to the police, but make clear to them the circumstances that the seller could also be the original owner. They can then check to see who made the lost phone claim. If its one and the same, that's fraud and they'll have all his details. Who knows, you may even have some financial recourse.
     
  15. DerekRod macrumors 6502a

    DerekRod

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Location:
    NY
    #15
    The OP stated it worked for a few months he didn't buy it and it didn't work from the get go
     
  16. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, US
    #16
    This. And wondering why someone would report it stolen after a few months.
     
  17. Ecoh macrumors 6502a

    Ecoh

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    The original owner may have lost it, maybe left it on top of his car when he drove off, it fell and was damaged. The original owner may have just damaged it and tossed it. The seller found it in the damaged condition and decided to sell it.

    Maybe the original owner reported it to his insurance company as stolen, then sold the damaged phone himself.

    Some insurance plans will replace a stolen phone, but not a lost or damaged phone.

    So the original owner may have put in a claim of a stolen phone to the insurance company. Then the insurance company may then have reported it stolen to the phone company, just to make sure the original owner could not "recover" the stolen phone and sell it. This could take a few months to work through the system.
     
  18. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #18
    Massively flawed because you can't use the stolen product you've just bought?

    You're screwed because you just bought something illegally.
     
  19. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #19
    No, it's flawed because it's obviously not stopping the sale of these phones.

    FWIW I could be the legit owner of a phone, sell it, and reported stolen a month later just to be a d*ck. It's pretty strange to me that it took "a few months" for this phone to get reported stolen as well.
     
  20. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #20
    Not stopping them, but slowing it down.

    Obviously if the OP has purchased the phone responsibly then they should be able to do something about it by contacting the police or the seller (or a company like ebay - if applicable).

    Reporting a device as stolen when you no longer own it is fraud plain and simple.
     
  21. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #21
    So define responsibly? Basically don't buy anything from a private party? After 60 days, eBay won't do squat for you, FYI. It sounds like the 60 days was up based on the original post. I don't know about the police in the UK, but a blacklisted phone in the states would be pretty high on the list of "we just don't give a f".
     
  22. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #22
    If you're buying it privately, ask for as much documentation and packaging as possible.
     
  23. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #23
    Sure, that's common sense, however that is still not fool proof obviously (and we don't know this didn't happen). Packaging is one thing, but a receipt on a product that could be nearing two years old is another.

    I am still left wondering why this phone would be reported months after it was sold. Seems strange to me.
     
  24. spookyghost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #24
    An update:

    Talked to another Optus guy while I was sorting out the SIM card, moving it over to my iPad(I bought about $300 worth of prepaid credit, no sense in wasting it). We had a chat while I was setting it up, and he candidly, off the record agreed that it was a bit fishy, taking so very long to report it. He couldn't give me the original owner's details, of course, but he did offer to forward my contact details to the original owner.

    Still no word back from them.

    /shrug
     
  25. spookyghost thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #25
    Final update:

    The original owner doesn't appear to want to the phone back, at least not from me. I can't know for sure, but I suspect it was the original person I bought it from doing something shady. Either way, they were given my contact details and told I wished to return it, and so far elected to ignore it.

    So now I have an iPod touch instead of an iPhone. I could part it out or sell it and get my money back, but I think I'll just hold onto it in case something ever develops.

    Kind of lame, no real answers. Only lesson to be learned is, buying second hand gear, even if you diligently check if it's stolen, remains risky. And possibly, there's some scam out there that I don't quite understand where you sell a phone and then way later report it lost/stolen.

    Buyer beware! Thanks for the input, guys.
     

Share This Page