There are so many iPhone Scams out there and this means that you need to be extra careful when you buy a brand new or second hand iPhone!
In this article, I will show you how to detect an iPhone scam from the first moment you’ll see it and all the ways not to become a victim of any iPhone seller. A must read post BEFORE you buy or sell an iPhone!
iPhone Scam Alert
There is a common rule to the market: For every product you see, there is at least one scam!
There are countless scams for every product you want to buy. Nowadays, we mostly use online markets for our purchases which makes the issue even bigger. Of course, iPhones are no exception to this rule.
I was reading about a con man who managed to make thousands of pounds by using fake iPhones. This person managed to deceive actual Mobile Stores so, imagine how easily he could do the same to any of us.
You probably heard about at least one of the iPhone Scams I’m about to show you and dodged the bullet by chance. But luck won’t be always on your side.
The Free iPhone Scam
I will begin with the most popular iPhone scam. You might come across a Free iPhone Contest. Scammers mostly use Facebook, Twitter and similar social networks on this purpose.
There will be a link, you might fill a captcha which makes the scam more believable. Then you will be asked to share personal information in order to win this iPhone. DON’T DO THAT.
This is a common phishing technique and as soon as you complete the process, your private data is in danger while at the same time you will spam all your friend to follow your example.
The Free iPhone Scam is also popular though fake surveys. For example, you might use a Free iCloud Unlock Service and in the end, you will be offered a Free iPhone by participating in some kind of contest. In most cases, you will fill in your phone number but as soon as you do that they will start sending text messages and you will be charged for them.
Nobody is giving away free iPhones like that. A solid contest will be clear about terms and additional charges. Stick with contests from sources you really trust and you know they are authentic.
The New iPhone Scam
You can easily fell into it when you try to buy a new iPhone from an online market like eBay, Amazon, Craigslist or Swappa.
The seller will usually tell you that he got 2 iPhones at the same time (as a birthday present or something like this) and he is selling the spare one. It seems like a really good investment and you will save at least $200-$300 you had to pay more if you bought that iPhone from an Apple Store or a Mobile store!
The bad news is that when the iPhone arrives at your doorstep, it is just the box with rocks, soap, concrete or any dead weight inside!
How to avoid the New iPhone Scam
- Take a good look at the picture and spot if the box is shrink-wrapped! It is a start but keep in mind the scammer might have a shrink-wrapper (Pro-scammers do have one)
- When the iPhone arrives at your home, don’t just pay the guy and get inside. Open the box before you pay and check if the iPhone is real and of course if it works! If the iPhone is new it won’t be Carrier Locked or iCloud Locked and it will work with your SIM card immediately. Do that and then pay the delivery guy!
- If you buy the brand new iPhone from a person or a local store with refurbished iPhones, DO THE SAME!
- This would never happen to anyone if he knew the real status of the iPhone.
The Fake iPhone Scam
Did you search for an iPhone on the net and for example found a ridiculously cheap iPhone XS?
You are most probably looking at a Fake iPhone from China! Since most of the real iPhones are produced there, they really know how to make almost perfect clones.
These fake iPhones look almost the same but they have nothing to do with real iPhones! Most times, they are cheaply-made duplicates and they don’t even fully work!
You can be easily fooled because their interface is like iOS but it is not. Even the box of purchase might look identical to the original and this makes things even more difficult!
How to avoid Fake iPhone Scam
- It makes no difference if you bought the clone from an online market, a local store or a random guy.
- Take a good look at the box and see if there are suspicious signs indicating that the iPhone is fake
- Open the box and investigate the fake iPhone. Something will be slightly different. Maybe there is no Apple logo or iPhone trademark on the back side of the iPhone.
- At the end of this article, I will show you a way to know 100% if an iPhone is original.
The stolen iPhone Scam
We all know that a stolen iPhone will be useless because it will be iCloud Locked, Blacklisted or both. But this doesn’t stop anyone from stealing an iPhone and selling it.
So, you will buy a used iPhone from an online market, the description will be reassuring but in fact, you will be getting a stolen iPhone.
Of course, there are ways to unlock a stolen iPhone but it’s not easy and it is possible only in specific situations.
How to avoid Stolen iPhone Scam
This scam can only be dodged with an iPhone IMEI Check! Skip to the end of the article to find out more about this service!
The Unlocked iPhone Scam
Another common scam is buying a seemingly unlocked used iPhone from an online market (according to the item’s description) and discovering later on that the iPhone is SIM Locked.
Basically here we have the same problem like the stolen iPhones above. And again IMEI Check is the only way to identify this issue.
The Refund iPhone Scam
Ok, this one is easy to detect! You want to sell your iPhone on an online market and a desperate buyer appears.
The buyer will often offer you more money than you asked with the excuse, he needs your device right away.
In the end, he will send you a check for an even bigger amount of money than the one you agreed ”by mistake” and ask you to send the remaining money back.
I can’t understand why people still fall for this but mark my words: The Check is fake! Don’t sell your iPhone to people who pay with checks, especially not to buyers who offer more money for no reason.
Paying to jailbreak your iPhone
Jailbreaking is free but if you find it difficult to accomplish you can pay a company $30-$50 to jailbreak your iPhone for you. DON’T DO THAT. Jailbreak the iPhone on your own. It is not so difficult as it seems!
Here is an iOS 11.3.1 Jailbreak Tutorial.
The best way to verify and avoid any iPhone Scam
Free iPhone Surveys, paying to jailbreak or refunding fake checks is really in your hands to fend them off.
But anything else from above can be easily avoided with an IMEI Check Service.
Instead of wandering about the used or “new” iPhone you are interested in purchasing, you can instantly and remotely receive the full background of the device.
This service checks the iPhone’s IMEI number inside:
- GSMA databases (all iPhone IMEI numbers worldwide are in there, indicating if an iPhone is SIM Locked or Blacklisted as well as its specifications)
- Apple’s GSX Databases (the only way to know if an iPhone is iCloud Locked without turning it ON)
And there’s more:
- The iPhone might be protected by Warranty or Insurance Plan
- The iPhone might be still under contract with the previous owner
- The iPhone might have a replaced IMEI or serial number
- There are iPhone issues like unpaid bills or Hardware Replacement that will explode in your face and LOCK your iPhone even after months, despite the fact that when you bought the used iPhone everything was OK
In my opinion, IMEI Check should be always the first move before you buy a refurbished iPhone as well as when you try to unlock it.
Leave a comment below and tell me about any iPhone Scam I might forget. You can also ask a question if you need help. Until next time, take care.