Oct 04, 2016

How to avoid buying a stolen smartphone?

I see a lot of posts about people trying to activate or access phones without the password. Many of these claim to have bought a used phone, but then are unable to contact the original owner to have them remove the phone from their account. There is a good chance that some of these devices were stolen. Before buying a used smartphone, how can I check to make sure that it isn’t stolen?
Many carrier block/blacklist the phone if it's reported stolen. While not guarantied, it a good thing to verify. You'll need to request the seller for ESN/IMEI number, that they can get from the phone. To check it you can either contact the carrier, or check on sites like Swappa https://swappa.com/esn that lets you type in the ESN/ IMEI number. For iPhone devices you can check the Activation Lock status https://www.icloud.com/activationlock/ .
Many websites like Swappa or Glyde, and even Ebay have some protection in place to ensure that what you bough works, they easer hold the payment for a certain amount of time or have a fraud department you can report the issue to.
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