So many obviously stolen iPhones on eBay?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by herdnerfer, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. herdnerfer macrumors 6502

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    #1
    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?
     
  2. Richdmoore macrumors 65816

    Richdmoore

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    #2
    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
     
  3. thecurryman macrumors 6502

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    Jun 9, 2012
    #3
    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
     
  4. fallenapple99 macrumors member

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    Nov 1, 2013
    #4
    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.
     
  5. Merkyworks macrumors 6502

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    #5

    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.
     
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #6
    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.
     
  7. herdnerfer thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Good point, but there has to be some kind of precedence for eBay to not allow these types of auctions.
     
  8. Lancetx macrumors 68000

    Lancetx

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    #8
    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.
     
  9. ABC5S macrumors 68040

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    Florida
    #9
    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.
     
  10. Xenomorph macrumors 65816

    Xenomorph

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    #10
    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.
     
  11. stu.h macrumors 65816

    stu.h

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    #11
    LOTS of people do, as well.
     
  12. 617aircav Suspended

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    Jul 2, 2012
    #12
    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.
     
  13. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #13
    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.
     
  14. wxman2003 Suspended

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    Apr 12, 2011
    #14
    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.
     
  15. Mrbobb macrumors 601

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    Aug 27, 2012
    #15
    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.
     
  16. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #16
    Wonder how much they would list a kidney for?
     
  17. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    #17
    A kidney (body part) is a prohibited item. A locked cell phone is not necessarily stolen.
     
  18. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #18
    I know..I was being sarcastic with regard to mrbobb's post.
     
  19. Mrbobb macrumors 601

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    #19
    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
     
  20. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    Jun 11, 2009
    #20
    How do the thieves get past a lockscreen to erase the phone?
     
  21. PNutts macrumors 601

    PNutts

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    #21
    lol!
     
  22. herdnerfer thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Saint louis, MO
    #22
    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.
     
  23. Xenomorph macrumors 65816

    Xenomorph

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    Aug 6, 2008
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    St. Louis
    #23
    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.

     
  24. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    Jun 11, 2009
    #24
    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.
     
  25. herdnerfer thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Saint louis, MO
    #25
    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.

    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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