Buying a used or recycled mobile phone is a great way to save money and get a recent model at a lower price. But buyers beware. Consumers can find themselves in a difficult situation if they don’t proceed carefully with a pre owned mobile phone and accidentally purchase a lost or stolen device. Not only are there moral dilemmas when it comes to owning something that was stolen, but it’s likely that your new phone won’t be working so well for long. With Apple devices, the original owner of the phone will be able to use the inbuilt safety features to find your location, erase the phone remotely, and even disable it. Soon enough, your brand new phone could be no more useful than a brick. It’s not unusual for thieves to go for quick sales in the hope that these features won’t appear until after the purchase.
Luckily, avoiding purchasing a stolen phone is a quick and easy process if you know the right action to take.
If you’re looking on private selling sites, make sure you ask plenty of questions and look at customer reviews on Trustpilot, eBay, Amazon or Etsy. If the seller is reluctant to give you more information, it’s a sign that something isn’t right. There are a few red flags to watch for – if the price is too good to be true, for example, but the best thing to do is to run the mobile phone’s unique IMEI number. Ask the seller to provide this to you, and if they ask why, you can either tell them it’s to check the device history or to see if your carrier can provide services to the device. You can use a free IMEI checker such as MobiCheck to do an IMEI lookup and make sure that the device isn’t showing any issues.
The safest place to buy a pre-owned phone is in the store of a well-known high street brand. Retailers like CEX or Game sell refurbished products that are guaranteed to have been handled correctly – anything they process will have undergone extensive mobile security checks to prevent handling stolen goods. All the IMEI checks and blacklist lookups are done ahead of time, and you can be sure that you’re getting a phone that has been wiped of data and restored to optimal condition.
Luckily for most purchasers of a pre owned phone, if you’re aware of the warning signs and know how to check it’s easy to protect yourself from wasting your money on a stolen phone. The most important thing to do is to do your research and make sure that you trust your seller.
If you’re a retailer looking for a secure, proven lookup to ensure the devices you handle are genuine, speak to the MobiCode team. We’ll be able to offer expert advice and provide a product that can help you safely process the devices that come to you.