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herdnerfer

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 12, 2011
345
11
Saint louis, MO
Perusing eBay today I was shocked to see so many listings for iPhones that are activation locked by iCloud. I couldn't think of any reason anyone would sell an iPhone this way unless they stole it. Shouldn't the police just snatch up all these phones & arrest the people selling them?
 

Richdmoore

macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2007
1,870
297
Troutdale, OR
My guess would be a lack of probable cause to get an arrest (based on only an ebay ad) and lack of police availability to track down a stolen phone on ebay.

I just looked one up, one listed as ios 7 locked bad esn (probably stolen) sold for $170. Still crazy. Are the parts really that rare that it would be worth that much? Or did someone buy not knowing what the lock means?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-iPhon...izon-iOS-7-Activation-Lock-READ-/121208368495
 
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thecurryman

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2012
328
37
My guess would be a lack of probable cause to get an arrest (based on only an ebay ad) and lack of police availability to track down a stolen phone on ebay.

I just looked one up, one listed as ios 7 locked bad esn (probably stolen) sold for $170. Still crazy. Are the parts really that rare that it would be worth that much? Or did someone buy not knowing what the lock means?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-iPhon...izon-iOS-7-Activation-Lock-READ-/121208368495

Think about that though, its 100% functional, every single part on that phone works. It costs almost $200 just to get the screen replaced in many cases, imagine what the other parts of a phone could bring? If you run your own phone repair business, buying this is a great deal. You could take a phone with a broken phone and basically repair it (aside from the logic board). Heck, if you really wanted you could use the housing on this phone on another iphone. Im surprised it sold for only $170
 
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fallenapple99

macrumors member
Nov 1, 2013
59
3
That's kind of sad. But the owners could still call the cops once the next person boots it up, since the phone cannot be wiped and is locked to the victim they could still use the find iPhone app to track down the phone once it's powered on.

I'm no lawyer but I could imagine that they could possibly charge the buyer as well if they could prove they knew it was stolen when they bought it. Either way the buyer could have the phone taken by the cops and would be out all there money.
 
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Merkyworks

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2008
375
36
That's kind of sad. But the owners could still call the cops once the next person boots it up, since the phone cannot be wiped and is locked to the victim they could still use the find iPhone app to track down the phone once it's powered on.

I'm no lawyer but I could imagine that they could possibly charge the buyer as well if they could prove they knew it was stolen when they bought it. Either way the buyer could have the phone taken by the cops and would be out all there money.


Agreed that is sad but its not really any different than the stolen car part business. I would guess that whoever buys this would not power the phone up but simply get it and instantly disassemble for parts, cause once the parts are individualized good luck in proving they are from a stolen phone.
 
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old-wiz

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2008
8,319
225
West Suburban Boston Ma
That's kind of sad. But the owners could still call the cops once the next person boots it up, since the phone cannot be wiped and is locked to the victim they could still use the find iPhone app to track down the phone once it's powered on.

I'm no lawyer but I could imagine that they could possibly charge the buyer as well if they could prove they knew it was stolen when they bought it. Either way the buyer could have the phone taken by the cops and would be out all there money.

I can't picture the cops being willing to get involved; there's the jurisdiction question for one thing, and the cops have little interest in stolen phones.
 
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herdnerfer

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 12, 2011
345
11
Saint louis, MO
I can't picture the cops being willing to get involved; there's the jurisdiction question for one thing, and the cops have little interest in stolen phones.

Good point, but there has to be some kind of precedence for eBay to not allow these types of auctions.
 
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Lancetx

macrumors 68000
Aug 11, 2003
1,991
619
Texas
I'm shocked that with all of eBay's strict rules that they even allow auctions for iOS 7 activation locked devices in the first place. Hopefully Apple or someone else will eventually put enough pressure on them to stop allowing them to be sold on there at all.
 
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ABC5S

Suspended
Sep 10, 2013
3,395
1,646
Florida
That's kind of sad. But the owners could still call the cops once the next person boots it up, since the phone cannot be wiped and is locked to the victim they could still use the find iPhone app to track down the phone once it's powered on.

I'm no lawyer but I could imagine that they could possibly charge the buyer as well if they could prove they knew it was stolen when they bought it. Either way the buyer could have the phone taken by the cops and would be out all there money.

Yes, this is true. It's called "Receiving Stolen Property" if they new it was stolen at time of purchase, and afterwards by not notifying the local police.
 
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Xenomorph

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2008
1,332
637
St. Louis
I just looked one up, one listed as ios 7 locked bad esn (probably stolen) sold for $170. Still crazy. Are the parts really that rare that it would be worth that much? Or did someone buy not knowing what the lock means?

Going by my experience on eBay (and looking at many of the reviews for some apps), LOTS of people have no idea what they're doing.

I had someone buy a phone from me, but then they wanted to cancel the order because they thought it was a Galaxy S 3 when they hit "Buy it Now" (note: what I was selling looked NOTHING like a Galaxy S 3).

People get confused with the numbers after the iPhone name. 4? 5? 4S? Aren't they all the same?

So, yeah, you could sell a phone that says "NON WORKING", and the buyer will file a complaint to eBay because it won't power on. Or someone could sell an obviously stolen device, and someone will still buy it and try to use it.
 
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617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,976
818
Sold a bad esn iphone 5 on ebay last year. Someone sold it to me from craigslits but it had been blocked from ATT. Took it to the base police, since the transaction took place on base. The took a report and told me to leave, and that there was nothing they could do. Thats how I ended up selling it to someone on ebay.
 
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old-wiz

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2008
8,319
225
West Suburban Boston Ma
I'm shocked that with all of eBay's strict rules that they even allow auctions for iOS 7 activation locked devices in the first place. Hopefully Apple or someone else will eventually put enough pressure on them to stop allowing them to be sold on there at all.

Lots of people have apparently figured out how to game the system on eBay. I think that eBay is more concerned with making money than worrying about stolen stuff. As long as it isn't too prevalent they will ignore it. However, if people tried selling stolen cars, then they would probably do something. However, for small things like phones, they don't care that much.
 
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wxman2003

Suspended
Apr 12, 2011
2,580
294
I'm shocked that with all of eBay's strict rules that they even allow auctions for iOS 7 activation locked devices in the first place. Hopefully Apple or someone else will eventually put enough pressure on them to stop allowing them to be sold on there at all.

eBay really doesn't care. As long as they get their cut they are happy. Heck, they allowed someone to list Holocaust items on their site until someone complained how disgusting that was. Then all of a sudden, they had morals.
 
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Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,992
196
Shouldn't the police just snatch up all these phones & arrest the people selling them?

In a perfect world, they should.

Real life: lots of municipalities are bankrupted, the've been laying off firefighters and police officers. City of San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley. If any city have money, they do. WRONG. They are so short staffed they don't have the manpower to respond to home thefts. Now u want them to go online?

Second, eBay is running a business. Is their interest and business model to attract as many sellers and buyers as possible. Oh once a while when somebody post a body part to sell, something that may embarrass the company and get them on the news then they will do something about it.
 
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old-wiz

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2008
8,319
225
West Suburban Boston Ma
Second, eBay is running a business. Is their interest and business model to attract as many sellers and buyers as possible. Oh once a while when somebody post a body part to sell, something that may embarrass the company and get them on the news then they will do something about it.

Wonder how much they would list a kidney for?
 
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Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,992
196
Wonder how much they would list a kidney for?

Some part of India, people get kidnapped, then wake up with a stitch on the side of the abdomen. They have surgically stolen one kidney for sale on the black market! :eek: Not kidding.

You think stealing your iPhone is bad. :D
 
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Xenomorph

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2008
1,332
637
St. Louis
Selling a phone only (no cords, etc) that has been activation locked is not shady AT ALL. :rolleyes:

I think it's dumb that you cannot flag an eBay auction for selling stolen goods.

Their own site says that only the authorities can claim the device is stolen. Regular users cannot.

Reports of stolen property on eBay need to come from a law enforcement official. This reporting reason is only to be used by law enforcement and eBay PROACT members.
 
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spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2009
9,926
3,822
You can still restore an iPhone in DFU mode, but with iOS 7 when you try to set it back up, it knows what Apple ID it was previously associated with & requires the password for it.

Hmm, I'm not sure what that means. Does that mean that the phone will be stuck in set up mode? Wouldn't that mean no one would buy it?

I still don't understand how these people sell stolen phones if they have a lockscreen they need to get by, at least for those stolen phones which had lockscreen passwords configured.
 
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herdnerfer

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 12, 2011
345
11
Saint louis, MO
Hmm, I'm not sure what that means. Does that mean that the phone will be stuck in set up mode? Wouldn't that mean no one would buy it?

This is pretty much what this whole thread is about, why would anyone buy a phone that was unable to be used, even if it is at a steep discount.

I still don't understand how these people sell stolen phones if they have a lockscreen they need to get by, at least for those stolen phones which had lockscreen passwords configured.

Just like if you put a password in Windows on your PC, a thief could steal your computer, reinstall Windows, bypass your password & claim the PC for their own, you can reinstall iOS on an iPhone to bypass the lock screen to use the phone just like new. but, iOS 7 added an additional security feature where this is no longer possible.
 
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