I thought I'd share my recent experience of buying an iPhone 4s on eBay! I recently bought an iPhone 4s on eBay for more than the retail price in order to avoid the ques! This later turned out to be a pain and although I was careful it could have easily resulted in me loosing my money. Thankfully I didn't!
Of course not all these phones are stolen. So how can we tell the legitimate phone from the stolen? For a small fee you can check any phone prior to purchase via checkmend . Com
Type in the IMEI and it can tell you if any mobile phone is stolen or not. But be careful the check can come back as all ok and you decide to complete the purchase which in my case I did as the phone was fine and I revolt emailed a certificate saying so. However, a few days after I'd purchased the phone and been using it the phone suddenly stopped working and was barred. I also received an email from checkmend stating the status of the check I had done had changed and the phone had now been reported as stolen.
By doing a checkmend check I could prove I'd shown due dillagence when purchasing the phone and that I was not aware of it being stolen. I also had proof of the imei as it was on the sellers listing. This is very important, make sure when you ask for the imei it is sent through the eBay messaging system so you have proof of what imei you will be buying. Also check when you get the phone it is the same. As long as you have paid via PayPal getting your money back should be straight forward if the phone turns out to be stolen.
Still what does it matter it doesn’t do any harm?
No stolen phone comes with a guarantee. However it does come with a criminal history. Some mobile phones are found on trains. Others are taken via pickpockets some through Burglaries. But many are taken through robberies. Street muggings. Some of these robberies are committed by groups of thugs picking on the most vulnerable in our society, sometimes with a sickening level of violence. Some of these victims can be left traumatised for years. If these criminals could not sell the proceeds of crime maybe the crime rate would fall.
You can report sellers of stolen mobile phones, anomalously by ringing CRIME STOPPERS on 0800 555 111 or contact your local police station.
What are the risks if I buy a stolen phone?
It would be the equivalent of you driving around in a stolen car. It is very easy for the police to check the status of your phone. One quick check can tell us if it is stolen or been reported lost. (This could very well be theft if you find a phone and then keep it without handing it in to police first). If the phone has been altered, also known as unblocking our computer database will know this. An unblocked phone indicates it’s a stolen phone. The chances of you being arrested if you have a stolen phone are very high.
If the person who sold you a stolen phone is arrested they sometimes give police the names and addresses of all the people they sold a phone to. The offence of handling stolen goods carries more severe penalties than theft. In theory you could get a greater sentence than the person who stole it!