How Can You Prevent Purchasing a Stolen Phone By Accident?

There are many reasons for buying a new smartphone. It could be that you want to upgrade your current smartphone to the newest one on the market, or perhaps you want to replace a broken phone. Whatever the reason, buying a used phone is a budget-friendly option that’s worth considering. When buying a used phone, however, you want to ensure that you’re buying a device that’s been willingly sold by its previous owner.

There are several places that sell used phones, but unfortunately, not all of them are reliable. Once you’ve purchased a device, you want to know you’re on the right side of the law. After checking the general condition and whether it’s locked, the big question is, how can you tell whether the phone you’re considering buying was stolen?

There are other problems that can arise when buying used phones. It could be cloned. The person that cloned the phone can have real bills sent to your carrier account. Although it seems unlikely, scammers have used this tactic before, so it’s always good to be aware of these possibilities.

In most cases, you cannot use a stolen phone. In California, it’s illegal to receive stolen property, so it’s best to have a plan in place for determining whether the phone you’re buying is legal. Unwittingly purchasing a stolen phone doesn’t let you off the hook either.

So to answer the question, how do you know if the phone you’ve purchased was stolen? Well for starters, the phone will likely not work if its previous owner has filed a report. If it does work, as soon as you turn it on, local authorities will be notified and they will be able to trace it to you. This is a position no one wants to find themselves in, so as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

Prevent Purchasing A Stolen Phone With These Tips

With over 3 million phones being stolen every year, it’s good to learn some pointers before you purchase a phone via a third-party seller. Here are a few to consider:

  • When buying a phone online, get accurate pictures of the phone. Don’t settle for catalog pictures. If you’re buying the phone in person, ask them to turn it on. It should still operate without a SIM card, if it doesn’t, this is a red flag.
  • Ask for the IMEI (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity) or a serial number of the device. There are free IMEI checkers online. Take advantage of this to determine if the phone has been stolen or blocked. If the seller tries to avoid giving you this number, walk away from the deal.
  • The safest way to avoid buying a stolen phone is to buy it through a reputable company. Established online services like have already done the due diligence for you. Amazon and eBay have checklists in place to prevent the sale of stolen phones. You won’t get that on Craigslist or other classified ad services.

Steps To Take After You’ve Realized You’ve Purchased A Stolen Phone

If you realize you have purchased a stolen phone, the first step would be to turn it in to the police. It’s better to be upfront in these situations than have the long arm of the law after you. You’re probably wondering if you will lose your money. In short, yes. The phrase, “let the buyer beware,” has never been more appropriate. If you don’t do proper checks on the phone prior to handing over your money and it turns out that the phone is in fact stolen, you may be out of luck.

UpTrade works to protect both the seller and the buyer. The phone’s condition is verified and they check to see if the phone is stolen. If it is, they turn it over to the authorities. They’ll include a history of the phone with your purchase. Buying through UpTrade ensures that the seller is reliable, you’re getting the phone you paid for, and it saves everyone from uneasy meetings in shopping mall parking lots. Myindigocard Give them a try.

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