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Apple Releases Tool to Check if Used iPhones Are Stolen

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Oct 2, 2014, 7:21 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Apple recently published a web site that allows prospective buyers of used iPhones to check the phone's status before making a purchase. As long as the IMEI or serial number is available, users can enter the data into Apple's Activation Lock site to determine if the device was reported stolen by its rightful owner. Apple's Find My iPhone tool lets people not only locate lost or stolen iPhones, but wipe them and render them useless through the Activation Lock. Devices that cannot be activated are essentially worthless. The tool works with the iPad and iPod Touch, as well.

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Oct 2, 2014, 10:26 AM


Having purchased phones on ebay spanning several years, I've been burned more than once.

Delighted to see folks have a way to look. Hopefully this will cut way down on fraudulent transactions.

One last thought: One smartphone I purchased on ebay was not stolen, but had a balance due on account and could not be activated. I don't know if the Apple tool can detect this condition (which still may prohibit use)
For once I am actually going to give props to Apple for a great idea....I hope other smartphone OEM's adopt a similar idea. I will be sure to mention this to every customer who talks about buying an iPhone on EBay
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