Hey gang! I posted this to the Apple discussion forums with no responses, so hopefully one of you fine folks may be able to save me!!! This is an interesting, and incredibly frustrating, issue. Apologies for the long post but I'm not sure what information is pertinent to the issue so I'm giving all of it. TL;DR: I purchased an iPhone 6s full-price and outright directly from an Apple Store in September 2015. The phone was unlocked (I switched from T-Mobile to Verizon after I purchased it without issue). I recently purchased an iPhone 7 Plus and after that phone was activated on Verizon's network, the iPhone 6S now indicates that it has an "Activation Lock". It is also linked to some unknown iCloud account (not the account I activated it with or have been using it with for close to a full year). Background: In September 2015, I purchased an iPhone 6S from a physical Apple Store. I bought it outright under no contractual terms. I purchased the T-Mobile variant as that was the carrier that I was using at the time. I also let the salesperson know that I was planning on switching to Verizon in the near future and he assured me that it wasn't a problem because the T-Mobile variant was unlocked (in fact, I never even provided him with my T-Mobile account information since it wasn't necessary for the transaction). This was later confirmed when I switched to Verizon a few months later with no issues whatsoever. I popped the Verizon SIM card into the T-Mobile iPhone and it activated within seconds. Great! I didn't feel so awful shelling out over $1,000 for the phone, case and AppleCare+ knowing that I could do whatever I wanted with the phone when I was done using it. I very recently pre-ordered and have received my new iPhone 7 Plus. I ordered it through Apple's upgrade program (since I like to upgrade my phones a lot). The new phone came with a new Verizon SIM card installed. I fired it up and it activated, again, within seconds. No problems there - I'm happily sporting the iPhone 7 Plus as I type this. The old phone (the iPhone 6S), I decided, I would give to my mother since she is using a beat-up hand-me-down iPhone 5 with a crack in the screen. First order of business: I synced her phone and prepared an up-to-date backup that I could use to restore my old phone from. I disabled Find My iPhone on the 6S, signed out of iCloud on the device itself, removed the device from my Apple Support profile and then did a full reset ("Erase All Content and Settings"). I now had, what I thought, was a fresh, unlocked iPhone 6S to work with. I plugged it into the computer and selected my mom's backup to restore from. Instead of a smooth transition (as has happened with several old iPhones I've had), I'm greeted with an error message stating that the phone was under an "Activation Lock". It asks me to sign in with the account originally used to activate it. The only problem with that is that the account it shows is some iCloud account that starts with the letter "z". I have NO email accounts, iCloud or otherwise, that begin with the letter "z". I typed in MY iCloud information (that I use on an almost daily basis across several other Apple devices) and it tells me that that account "cannot be used to activate this phone" (something to that effect, at least). That is the account I originally activated the phone with! No other accounts have EVER been associated with that phone. I used it personally up until the day I received my iPhone 7 Plus. So now - my unlocked iPhone 6S somehow became "locked" and associated with some mystery iCloud account. How the heck did this happen? How do I fix it when it's telling me that the account information is incorrect? WHY the heck did this happen? I followed all of the proper steps Apple says to take when giving away your old phone. From Apple's site: "When you erase your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, Find My iPhone and Activation Lock is turned off". What do I do now? I just wanted to surprise my mom with a pristine condition iPhone 6S that I have lovingly cared for and, instead, I have a $1,000 paperweight. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.