Sold iPhone, buyer saying it's activation locked...am I being scammed?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by gdjsnyder, May 9, 2016.

  1. gdjsnyder macrumors 6502a

    gdjsnyder

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    Swoyersville, PA
    #1
    I sold my old iPhone 6 Plus on eBay and it arrived to the buyer on May 2. Today, I received a message from them stating they could not activate the phone as it was activation locked and they needed my help. I was positive I removed the iPhone from my iCloud account prior to selling and even more sure that I typed my password in in order to turn Find my iPhone off when I was erasing all settings.

    Anyway, I do still have the IMEI number and it is indeed showing on Apple's website that it is activation locked. The website tells me how to remove the iPhone from my account, which I attempted to do, but it is not showing in my Find my iPhone account in iCloud.com.

    What's more at this point is that I asked the buyer what message they were receiving and they sent me the message, and the e-mail that the phone is activation locked to is not mine, and it's an e-mail handler I've never used (only use gmail and iCloud, not hotmail).

    I don't know what to do at this point? Any thoughts/opinions?
     
  2. Kyotoma macrumors 68000

    Kyotoma

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    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    Carnegie and Ontario
    #2
  3. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #3
    Maybe the buyer locked it himself in order to scam you. How's their eBay feedback?
    Either you give him a refund and then he unlocks his free phone or he returns the now worthless phone to you. Maybe even arranges for this mystery owner to unlock the phone for you for a fee.
    If you've got the IMEI and can prove that the email account that locked it is not yours then you should probably stand firm.
    Get some screenshots of your Find My IPhone showing that it's no longer under your account. And hopefully you have your original receipt with the IMEI
     
  4. gdjsnyder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gdjsnyder

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    Swoyersville, PA
    #4
    It was removed before I sold the phone. I logged into my iCloud account and the device is not showing up. So it is removed from my account. The email he said its locked to not being mine is concerning me.
    --- Post Merged, May 9, 2016 ---
    I do have the original receipt as the phone was purchased directly from Apple. I don't know how I'd prove the email it's locked to isn't mine, but at least I have the IMEI number from my original receipt and from the picture taken the day prior to selling. I'm awaiting a response now. So we will see what happens. eBay feedback is all positive with like 60+.
     
  5. d5aqoëp macrumors 6502a

    d5aqoëp

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2016
    #5
    There was an iOS 9 update which had caused iphones to display lock status with completely different ID. There was a story about it here on MR frontpage. The solution was to update to latest 9.3.1 firmware.

    Secondly, the buyer maybe scamming you as he himself locked the iphone. But this type of scam is new. It's almost a foolproof way to scam unless you have your IMEI bill. But then how will you prove that id it is showing is not yours. I stopped selling iPhones on eBay. I sell them face to face. Remove icloud lock and perform full reset in front of them. Get money and never see their faces again.
     
  6. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #6
    Have them send you a video of the device showing the imei (hopefully you saved this) with the activation lock on it. Should be pretty easy for the user to prove this an issue for you. Perhaps offer a slight discount (partial refund) when it turns out your mistake is confirmed to make the buyer happy.
     
  7. Bako-MacAddict macrumors 68000

    Bako-MacAddict

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Not that my comment is going to help you with anything but I always sell my devices on swappa and always have a good experience. I always hear stories on eBay.
     
  8. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #8
    Same thing could happen in swappa. I personally never sell expensive phones online for this reason. I would just be patient till I get the price I want on Craigslist. eBay buyer can return for whatever reason for up to 45 days, and I've heard of dishonest people breaking the device weeks later and then saying it can broken, and PayPal refunds them.
     
  9. HEK, May 9, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2016

    HEK macrumors 68030

    HEK

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #9
    One of several reasons I hate eBay and will never again sell or buy things through them. Regardless of other people's experiences, I'm done with all the third party sellers. My time and sanity are worth more than the few extra bucks I might make if all goes well and not scammed or ****ed over by eBay and PayPal.
     
  10. gdjsnyder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gdjsnyder

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    Swoyersville, PA
    #10
    Well the buyer wants a refund. I'm trying my best to be cordial but this is a complete scam as I have the e-mail that I unregistered this from iCloud. So I will refund him but if it's iCloud locked I hope I'm not SOL. As long as I get the original phone I sent him back, I'll have proof for Apple that I am the owner of the device as I still have my original receipt from them with the marching IMEI. Does anyone know if Apple will be helpful in this situation?

    I feel like telling the buyer that if I don't receive the device I sent I'll pursue legal action.
    --- Post Merged, May 10, 2016 ---
    I should add that I went through their feedback and noticed they purchased an activation locked iPhone 6 Plus 2 weeks ago from a seller. That's why I'm thinking I'm going to be getting that phone. That's why I'm concerned.
     
  11. MRxROBOT macrumors 6502

    MRxROBOT

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    Apr 14, 2016
    Location:
    1011100110
    #11
    Sorry to say that I think you'll be receiving the previously purchased locked phone as well. Contact eBay & PayPal with your concerns and try to get the IMEI of the locked phone from the seller (maybe eBay could be of help there, at least taking note of it). Don't refund anything until all your concerns are voiced with eBay & PayPal. That said PayPal almost always sides with the buyer.

    I think eBay is great for buying, not so much for selling. I do hope I'm wrong and if it's sent back you do in fact get your phone. Best of luck to you.
     
  12. HEK macrumors 68030

    HEK

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #12
    I have read other reports of this very scam. I sincerely wish you best of luck and hope you receive your own phone back intact. eBay And PayPal are a scammers paradise for this.
     
  13. off_piste macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #13
    I'd contest that. They're trying to scam you. PayPal will ask for documentation so all the documentation you can provide will be helpful.

    An iPhone is also expensive enough to qualify as a felony in some states. You can contact the local DA and see if they're willing to prosecute. You'd likely need the other device in hand and probably a statement from the other seller that they sold that device to the buyer two weeks ago. In other words, do the legwork for them. They'd still need affidavits but an airtight case is much more likely to get their attention.
     
  14. bufffilm, May 10, 2016
    Last edited: May 10, 2016

    bufffilm macrumors 601

    bufffilm

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #14
    Yeah, he's going to send you the locked phone bought earlier. I'd talk to PayPal and eBay to fight this...keep us posted on outcome.

    Agree with other comments that for these types of sales, eBay is not the place to sell your iPhone.

    Too many ways for dishonest people to scam legitimate sellers.
     
  15. dannyar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    #15
    I wouldn't refund him until he sends you the phone back. paypal does not require you to refund buyer until return is received. Upon receiving it you can fight it with paypal and tell them the phone you received is not the phone you sent as it does not match the IMEI of the phone you shipped him. Also you could mention his previous purchase of locked iphone 6 plus to reaffirm youre suspicions and I see no issue why they wouldn't rule in youre favor if you can provide picture of IMEI of phone you sent vs the one he sent you back.
     
  16. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

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    Feb 6, 2014
    #16
    Tell the buyer that you have proof that you've done your part. If he doesn't like that then he can take you to court where the judge will see your proof. I'll bet you never hear from him again.
     
  17. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    Oct 8, 2015
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    PA, USA
    #17
    Under no circumstances, do not send a refund without receiving the phone first.
     
  18. noobinator macrumors 601

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    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
  19. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    #19
    You know the buyer isn't going to send the phone back. He'll ask for a refund and, after receiving the refund, he'll unlock the phone and keep it. Then, when gdjsnyder asks for the phone, the buyer will say he shipped it and it was probably lost in the mail. He probably does this to dozens of people hoping someone will fall for it and he'll make some easy money.
     
  20. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    Oct 8, 2015
    Location:
    PA, USA
    #20
    If the buyer initiates the return on ebay and seller approves the return, the buyer has to ship the item and provide tracking info. Only when the seller receives the item and inspects it can the buyer receive a refund.
     
  21. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #21
    He can't get a refund until he sends something back. Once the tracking number shows the item has been returned PayPal will refund him with or without the sellers approval.
     
  22. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    Oct 8, 2015
    Location:
    PA, USA
    #22
    Paypal doesn't make the refund right away. ebay notifies the seller that the item was returned and reminds you that it's time to make a refund. Usually the seller has a couple of days to make the refund without paypal doing automatically.
     
  23. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

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    Feb 6, 2014
    #23
    Ah, now I remember why I stopped using eBay/PayPal.
     
  24. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #24
    It's done automatically if there is a dispute and eBay side with the buyer. PayPal will refund the buyer once the tracking shows the item has been returned. If the buyer in this case receives the wrong phone back, he obviously won't want to refund the buyer. eBay will decide how it's settled and eBay in a he said she said case will likely side with the buyer and not seller.
     
  25. gdjsnyder thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gdjsnyder

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    Swoyersville, PA
    #25
    Yes, I replied saying I would accept the return and that the iPhone must match the IMEI and serial number (which I placed in the eBay message) and all of sudden I get a message back that this person is not a scam artist or anything like that. And why should they return the phone without receiving their money when I'm clearly the scammer for selling an item not as described.

    This is such a freaking headache I may as well just keep all of my old products then ever try doing this again.
     

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