Why is my craigslist blocked
How can I find out if my new (used) smartphone has been stolen?
When a brand new iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, or Nokia Lumia is over your budget and you don't want to be committed to a contract, buying a used handset is often the popular and obvious choice.
However, buying a phone this way can come with risks and dangers. You could best end up with stolen goods; In the worst case scenario, a cell phone is full of illegal, unauthorized, or confidential material. If your phone was previously owned by someone else and it was stolen, you are likely to encounter problems while using that phone.
What follows is designed for smartphones, but you can apply it to tablets too, especially tablets with mobile internet.
Where did you buy your phone?
If you are reading this there is a risk of your phone being stolen.
The first thing you need to consider is where you bought the device. If you've exchanged cash (or other hardware) with a friend, they might be a good idea to get in touch with. What's the background of this phone? How did they get there and was it reliable?
If you have paid someone for the device on Craigslist, be sure to do every possible check to confirm that the phone is working, usable, and most importantly, is not being stolen. After all, there are a lot of scammers on Craigslist. The Battle Against Craigslist Scams: How To Avoid Scams On Craigslist The Battle For Craigslist Scams: How To Avoid Scams On Craigslist Launched before 1995, Craigslist took the internet world by storm with its innovative cross of classified ads with the web. But as with all internet-based transactions, some users prefer the system ... Read More
Even eBay and Amazon can be unreliable. The best source for used phones these days are specialist hypermarkets where the necessary testing and remanufacturing equipment can be performed.
Does the phone work?
If the phone works, you are home and dry. If you are unable to make a call or your SIM card is not accepted, you can probably write off the purchase as a faulty one. At best, you can resell it as a replacement device - someone may need a new display for a similar device.
Setting up a phone with your SIM card should be easy - but a stolen device may result in a message such as “There was a problem with the MEID / ESN provided” indicating that the handset is locked.
The only way to lock a handset is through the network. The user then calls to report the device as stolen.
Are the additives real?
If you're looking for more evidence that your cool new phone is indeed hot, look no further than the accessories. A handset plucked from a table in a bar or restaurant likely doesn't have all of the extras like a charger, cord, headset, and case.
A thief planning to sell the smartphone for as much as possible could buy substandard accessories to create the illusion of a “full set” when in fact the only real device is the phone.
This is not a rule of thumb, of course, but if a phone you're interested in doesn't sell with genuine accessories, then it's a good idea to ask why.
Has the device been deleted?
Most of the stolen smartphones have been - reasonably - deleted. However, this usually requires the thief to have access to the password. If there is no password or a default code has been set, this is not difficult to do.
You can get an idea of whether or not the phone has been stolen by checking whether there are photos, videos, music, or even documents and webpage history on it. While it is very smart to wipe a phone before selling it, are you selling your Android? Here's How to Wipe Squeaky Clean Are you selling your Android? Here's How to Wipe Squeaky Clean Not so long ago, James wrote an article about all the things you should do before you sell or give away your computer or tablet. The general principles were fantastic, but what if you plan ... Read More However, if you find a list of contacts or other data and you already have suspicions about the phone, it may be time to have the phone properly checked out. Additionally, any social networking services that are running can be a giveaway, although they will also help you identify the owner.
Whenever you plug a phone that you suspect has been stolen into your computer to check its contents, be careful what you open. Malware may be waiting for malware to get into your smartphone. How does malware get into your smartphone? Why do malware vendors want to infect your smartphone with an infected app, and how does malware get into a mobile app in the first place? Continue reading .
Check the history of your hardware
How do remanufactured hardware stores know that they are not receiving any stolen goods? Usually by accessing a database of smartphone IMEI numbers that have been blocked.
You can also access this database via the CheckMEND website. There you can get a report on your smartphone's history for just $ 2.99 (£ 1.99 in the UK).
With this useful service, you can find out whether your phone has been stolen or not. EBay sellers can use CheckMEND to confirm to potential buyers that their device is legitimate.
In addition, your country or region may have a property database that can be used to track and disable stolen hardware. In the UK, the Immobilize system is supported by the majority of the police force. This system requires your device's IMEI number to be scanned into the world's largest free database of owner information so stolen hardware can be returned. If you suspect your phone has been lost or stolen from a previous owner, returning it is a decent deal. 7 Reasons to Return a Lost Phone 7 Reasons to Return a Lost Phone If you find an expensive smartphone on the road, you'll be delighted probably wondering what to do with it. In short: give it back! Continue reading .
Conclusion: only buy from trustworthy sources!
There is a large second hand market for smartphones. EBay, Amazon, and even brick-and-mortar video game stores are among them. As long as the devices have been tested as genuine and not stolen, you shouldn't have any problems. If any of the above items come up after your purchase, at least you can return them.
However, you should avoid making a purchase through a website like Craigslist because you won't really be able to authenticate the phone until you buy it. By then, it may be too late.
Were you the ignorant recipient of a stolen phone? Were you able to unlock the device? Tell us below!
Image Credit: Acerin, Beware of Shutterstock, Zephyris
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