Buyer Beware - Buying second hand phone ended up being a stolen phone

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I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 18

Buyer Beware - Buying second hand phone ended up being a stolen phone

This is more of a story with some helpful advise for those who purchase an off-contract phone second hand to activate with Rogers.

 

Back in November, my phone broke and I needed to replace it. Like many others my flex-tab balance at the time I needed to get a new phone was still a few hundred dollars (no fault of Rogers, that is what I agreed to).

 

I went on a popular classifieds website and purchased a Samsung Note 3. I have done this many times in the past and have never had any problems. The phone I purchased was from somebody who had it registered to Rogers and very trustworthy.

 

I purchased the phone, called Rogers, had it set up and went on with my life.

 

Four months later there was a knock on my door, it was two detectives looking for my phone which was reported stolen from a high school a year before I purchased it from the person who I now know purchased it from the original thief.

 

FYI - When police show up and tell you your phone is stolen, they take the phone with them. You are allowed to take your SIM card, SD card (if your phone has one) and wipe the phone, but when they leave, they WILL take your phone.

 

This means that for over a year, Rogers allowed a phone that was stolen to be registered on their network by two separate people. A better system needs to be put in place to proactively stop this.

 

Long story short, I ended up out the cost of the phone I paid for (still trying to get money back from the thief with help of the police), and I had to pay out the balance of my flex-tab on my old phone before buying a new phone from Rogers.

 

Total cost - $300 (for stolen phone) + $250 (flex tab) + $100 (new S4) = $650

 

As somebody who has purchased online on classified websites many... Many times, I can honestly say, you are never 100% safe.

 

With that said, here are some tips for buying a used phone (or anything else) online:

 

  1. Start an ongoing conversation with the person you plan to do business with before setting any meeting
  2. Use your judgment. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is
  3. Don't trust people. If you are communicating with somebody and they don't give you their name or any contact info other than an email address that doesn't give you a clue as to who they are, move on to somebody else
  4. A good example of somebody you can trust is somebody who use their name in their email address
  5. A good example of somebody to not trust is somebody who does not use their name in their email or is unwilling to provide you with their name
  6. Meet in public!! Either at an office, in a mall, a Tim Hortons, wherever. Do not meet somewhere where there are no other people.
  7. Never meet at your house.
  8. Save all email correspondence. When the police showed up at my house four months after the fact, I was relieved to see I still had all emails including the name and phone number of the person I dealt with

Although I don't blame Rogers for my situation and have no reason to demand any reimbursement for the amount of money I had to spend to get my new phone after the stolen phone was confiscated, I don't understand how I was able to call Rogers and hook up a stolen phone that was reported stolen long before I purchased it (it was originally a Rogers phone).

 

If they had a better system in place, I'd have known the phone was stolen right away.

 

 

***Edited Labels.***

I'm a Trusted Advisor
Posts: 32,009

Re: Buyer Beware - Buying second hand phone ended up being a stolen phone

Hello Cheers1981


I agree with you 100% on this. I do sell phones all the time om popular classified sites and honestly you are never sure if the buyer or seller is honest and trustworthy. You always need to be careful and make sure you do the sell or trade at a local Rogers store in which you can make sure it's not stolen or lost.


I have heard of this happening many times before and it's sad that we have people like that still out there but we do. Its our choice to be careful and make the right decision.
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 13,915

Re: Buyer Beware - Buying second hand phone ended up being a stolen phone

There is the stolen phone list thing now is there not? (though this may have happened before it was out, etc)

When your phone IS stolen, you should be reporting it as such to your carrier (which should be reporting it to the list.. as well as you can yourself i beleive).

Carriers, are suposed to abide by this list.. and blacklist any IMEI numbers on it.. and not allow them on the network..

 

As a buyer, you can also check yourself beforehand

http://www.protectyourdata.ca/check-the-status-of-your-device-in-canada/



I'm a Trusted Advisor
Posts: 32,009

Re: Buyer Beware - Buying second hand phone ended up being a stolen phone

Hello Gdkitty

That is correct BUT the OP bought a phone from someone else that stole it. The carriers yes should be made aware of it and blacklist the phone from entering the carriers registry for the IMEI data base.
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 13,915

Re: Buyer Beware - Buying second hand phone ended up being a stolen phone

Yeah, just saying for in the future (for anyone that might read this).. that IF yours does get stolen.. make sure to report it, so it gets blacklisted... so the person who stole it, and a buyer, etc.. cant get stuck with it.

And a good reference when buying to try and check it via that link.



I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 18

Re: Buyer Beware - Buying second hand phone ended up being a stolen phone

Hey. It apparently was reported stolen long before I bought it. I don't know if that means it was reported to Rogers or just the police and not Rogers, but when I went to activate it they said it was good.
I'm a Trusted Advisor
Posts: 32,009

Re: Buyer Beware - Buying second hand phone ended up being a stolen phone

Hello cheers1981

Most likely it was reported to the police as stolen and they tracked down the IMEI to ur name / account and that is why they went to your home. Rogers wouldn't do that. If someone reports it to Rogers, all they do is block the IMEI number on getting into anyone's account
I've Been Here Awhile
Posts: 4

Re: Buyer Beware - Buying second hand phone ended up being a stolen phone

I am afraid this may happen to me in next couple of months. I totally didn't aware of this kind of scam before purchasing the phone from private seller to replace my broken phone. The phone I bought is actually from Rogers. I have checked the IMEI, it's clean and good to go so I tried to call Roger to register the IMEI under my account preventing it from being blacklisted in future. Do you guys know what's so funny, Rogers’s customer representative did not seem to care when I talked to them about preventing a scam to Rogers and I with this seller. I tried to inform them, the phone with this IMEI is being sold, so they should take note on it and in case, if this phone will be reported as lost or stolen, they already have the evidence knowing the phone is sold. The seller couldn’t take advantage of “handset protection plan” to claim for a new one from Roger.

Instead, they keep telling me, they can’t do it blah blah blah, it’s my own risk to buy the phone from private seller. They don’t seem to care to give out a new phone, when customer reports lost or stolen.

 

I am wondering if everyone in this forum has any idea how to preventing the IMEI being blacklist in the future. I have check the IMEI with Rogers, it’s good though. I am just afraid, it may be blacklisted in next 3 – 4 months.

Thanks in advance

Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 13,915

Re: Buyer Beware - Buying second hand phone ended up being a stolen phone

As long as you have registered it... They shouldn't be able to blacklist it, as far as I know.. Since it's no longer in their account

But i could be wrong.


I'm a Trusted Advisor
Posts: 32,009

Re: Buyer Beware - Buying second hand phone ended up being a stolen phone

Hello Gdkitty

It can still be blacklisted even if you register it on ur account as the other person can call in weeks or months later and claim it was stolen or lost and blacklist it. Then you have a bricked phone worth nothing.