Dangers Of Purchasing A Stolen Phone: And How To Protect Yourself


Purchasing a used phone is a brilliant decision. It is more cost effective, it is great for nature, and it still gives you access to a (somewhat) new gadget that you can enjoy.

With that said, purchasing a used phone is not all rainbows and butterflies. With an increasing number of online marketplaces popping up on the web, there are a lot of ingenuine sellers looking to scam unsuspecting buyers.

One of the more common scams is to sell off stolen phones. 

If you are purchasing multiple devices to be used for your business by your employees, falling prey to such a scam is more likely. 

While verifying the authenticity of all the devices you purchase may seem like a hassle, it is an important step to ensuring your interests are protected.

While it is true that unknowingly purchasing a stolen phone is not a crime, there is still a lot that can go wrong when you purchase a stolen phone, even unknowingly.

Dangers Of Purchasing A Stolen Phone

If you have purchased a stolen phone unknowingly, you cannot be held responsible for the crime. However, this situation can still complicate your life in a number of ways. Here are some examples:

  • If you purchase a device without checking its IMEI in a free IMEI checker tool (more on this in the next section), and it turns out to be reported stolen, chances are that the phone will not work at all.
  • Even if it does work with a certain carrier, chances are that as soon as you switch on the device, your local authorities will be notified about the stolen device’s location and you can expect to hear from them at any moment.
  • There have also been instances where the buyer can use the phone for a month or so, before it gets blocked by the carrier and is rendered completely useless.
  • Another danger of purchasing a stolen device unknowingly is that it might be cloned. Depending on the cloning process, the person that has cloned your device can do anything ranging from accessing the data you enter on your new ‘used’ phone to using another device and billing the usage to your carrier account. 

Whether the device has been blocked or cloned, the problem is that you, as the buyer, cannot do anything to get it unblocked. Only the person that had reported their device as stolen can get it unblocked. Moreover, the worrying thing is that getting a phone unblocked may take up to several weeks, or even months.

How To Ensure You Are Not Purchasing A Used Phone

When you buy a new phone, you want to do as much homework and research as possible before completing the purchase to ensure that there is nothing wrong with the device.

To do this, the very first step (and the most important one) is to ask the seller to share the IMEI number of the phone with you.

The IMEI number is a unique identification number given to each mobile device. This number can be used by the police and mobile service providers to identify stolen devices and block them.

Those purchasing used phones can use a free IMEI checker tool to verify the status of the device before completing a purchase. If the tool shows that the device you are about to purchase is ‘blacklisted’ or has a ‘bad’ IMEI number, it means that the device is probably stolen.

So, if any seller is not sharing the IMEI number of the device you are thinking of purchasing, it is best to walk away from the deal and look for a different seller.

Jennie is a blogger whose experiences in life make her really tougher than anyone else. She can lend you expert tips on diverse topics ranging from relationship to fashion, technology, making money, health, and so on. Her write-ups are a window into her thoughts and knowledge.

Dangers Of Purchasing A Stolen Phone: And How To Protect Yourself

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