Discussion in 'iPhone' started by vonWachtstain, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. vonWachtstain macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2011
    Well, as much as I am careful it finally happened. I was buying iPhone 4 from a guy and when I asked for IMEI so I can call Verizon if its clean he really never responded. He just said phone was never activated so he cant access it in settings. And if I can come pick it up at his home. Well there you have it. I didnt think anybody would scam out of their own home. Pick it up. Got home and checked IMEI on Verizon website. "It appears you would like to activate recently purchased phone..." I figured phone is good and forgot about it. A little note here: I bought it so when my wife sells hers iP5 she will have something to use before getting iP5S. When she was selling her 5 I attempted to switch devices on her line and that when I hit brick wall. iPhone 4 I bought was still activated on his line. Not stolen/lost. He initially said in text messages he will deactivate but later stopped responding. His mother claims she evicted him and has no contact with him.

    Not complaining but is there anything I can do? Will police do anything even though I dont know his current address?
  2. user-name-here macrumors 65816

    Aug 31, 2013
    From your above paragraph you don't actually state any part of how you got scammed.

    I assume though what you are saying is he sold you a phone that was reported lost/stolen and its now locked out of the Verizon network correct?

    As for the police, it can't hurt trying. Give them a call and see what they say. Worst thing they could tell you is "no".
  3. tharepairguy macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2011
    You have his address. Information from text messages. Contact the police immediately.
  4. vonWachtstain thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2011
    Phone is not lost or stolen. I checked with Verizon twice. But they tell me its still activated on his line so I can use it on mine. The only way for me to use it is for him to call them and deactivate it.


    Parents claim he doesn't live there anymore. And he cancelled his phone number. His mother said over the phone that phone wasn't his but his girlfriend so she cant help either.
  5. octatonic macrumors regular


    Mar 23, 2010
    Sounds more like he's clueless than criminal.
    What possible benefit to him is there selling a phone and then not detaching it from his account.
    What possible benefit is there to him if you have the phone?
  6. walmartmartyr macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2012
  7. noisycats macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2010
    The 'ham. Alabama.
    I know this wasn't your question, but to anyone reading NEVER go to someone's home to close a deal. Neither have them come to your home.

    I'm surprised you weren't robbed the second you stepped foot in the door.
  8. Fission macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2013
    You'll have to sue him in small claims court. Not worth the trouble...Life lesson.
  9. vonWachtstain thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2011

    He is not clueless because I told him what he needs to do. But its puzzing why he is doing it. Hes got money and he cant use phone because I have it. Verizon customer service claims phone is not reported lost so he isnt getting insurance


    Its suburbs. Nice little house. Pleasant town. So I wasn't worried.
  10. wxman2003 Suspended

    Apr 12, 2011
    You said he cancelled his phone number. So Verizon would know that. Unless it's really not his account, but is his girlfirend's and she is paying the bill.
  11. user-name-here macrumors 65816

    Aug 31, 2013
    Seems like you might need to go a little 'Heisenberg' on his *** :cool:
  12. Fission macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2013
    Great reason to use eBay and PayPal...buyer protection would eat his rear for this.
  13. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    the police cant help you. seems the phone was not reported stolen by verizon so what can the police even do. you are out of luck. I dont buy cdma phones for this reason.
  14. Fission macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2013
    Or better yet, no IMEI check? No deal.
    Especially with the tons of these phones that are available. It's 2013, people aren't to be trusted .
  15. octatonic macrumors regular


    Mar 23, 2010
    Maybe he sold his GF's phone and told her it was stolen.
    Then said he's report it to the cops, but didn't.

    Again, what benefit is it to him to not unlink the phone from a cell phone account?
  16. jfyrfytr25 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2008
    Because people never get murdered or robbed in the suburbs!!!!
    Really, did you just say that??

    I would just be glad I did not end up in pieces in a ditch somewhere.
  17. Tiger8 macrumors 68020

    May 23, 2011
    voWachtstain, whatever you paid for the phone is nothing, thank Goodness you are ok. I am 100% with noisycats. People, never ever go to someone's house to buy or sell something. Always meet in public, there are plenty of starbucks, grocery stores, etc. It's just not worth it.

    What happened to you is one of the better scenarios; worst case would be getting murdered, some of the other scenarios include: your wallet stolen, the house turning out to be a drug den and police breaking in minutes after you are in the house - with cash in your hand, the possibilities are endless!
  18. cyks macrumors 68020


    Jul 24, 2002
    Westchester County, NY
    That's why I only meet in Apple or carrier stores. Money isn't handed until the phone is checked out and working on my/ their account.
  19. ATC macrumors 65816

    Apr 25, 2008
    OP, just for future reference or to anyone else wanting to check imei numbers before a sale, on any iphone the imei is printed on the back of the phone near the bottom in fine print. No need to turn on the phone.
  20. vonWachtstain thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2011
    He ripped it off the box. Had I looked I would know something is wrong. But I didn't look.
    I still have hard time believing somebody would scam from their own home. I really don't want to involve police because I think they are lazy. At least two times my car was broken into cops did nothing.
  21. Lucille Carter macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    The police will do nothing, hundreds of phones are stolen everyday.

    Like another said, consider it a life lesson. The phone still has some value for parts.
  22. Velin, Sep 28, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013

    Velin macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2008
    Hearst Castle
    This is where he straight-up lied to you. I'm looking at my iPhone 5s boxes, IMEI is printed right there on the box, he could have done the same.

    Another place to find the IMEI: right on the back of the phone, if it is an iPhone. And if it's an Android phone, you can remove back cover, lift battery, IMEI will be printed right there. You never ever have to "activate" a phone to get the IMEI.

    Get the IMEI. Then, go here:

    After you input the IMEI, if you see, "Activated: Yes" and they won't give you any information or otherwise assign it to you, stay far away. The phone either is (a) stolen, or (b) certainly assigned to someone, and there is not a thing you can do about it until that IMEI is released to you. Welcome to Activation Lock, you need to be able to get that IMEI assigned to your account, period (iTunes for Apple, Android there is Google Services, perhaps Marketplace as well, can't remember all of them).

    Another one I stay away from is when I see, "Sim Lock: Locked." Could also spell trouble. You want a phone free and clear that says "Sim Lock: Unlocked."

    If you are buying a used or secondary market phone anywhere -- Craigslist, Ebay, Amazon -- you need to treat the IMEI number as if it is the very product you are buying. If you cannot confirm the IMEI is unlocked for you at point-of-sale, you must assume the IMEI, and thus the phone, remains activated to someone else, and thus the phone is bricked until released. Anything else, kiss your money goodbye.

    As more of these stories get out, people are going to learn this. And this also is why Apple's iOS7 imbedded Activation Lock, together with Find My iPhone (even when location services is disabled) could really make a dent in the stolen phone business.

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