Quick Tip: Check if a used iPhone is stolen before buying

stolen iPhone Make sure you never
buy a ripped off iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iPhone users’ data is pretty well-protected if our iPhone is
ever stolen, what with encryption, activation locks, and Find
My iPhone. But theft still happens. How do you protect yourself
when buying used phones, both iPhones and Android? One way is
to avoid anything dodgy-looking, and to ignore suspiciously
good deals (if it looks to good to be true, then it probably

Luckily, there’s a service that lets you plug in the details of
any phone you’re about to buy and find out if it’s kosher. This
relies on the phone being reported stolen, of course, which is
a neat reminder to do exactly that if the worst ever happens to
you. It’s called Stolen Phone
, leaving little doubt about what it does.

How to check if an iPhone is stolen

To check a handset, you need the
device’s IMEI number, its unique identifier. A legitimate
seller should have no problem providing this, although you
might not get them to submit it via phone or email, in case you
yourself are some kind of dodgy ne’er-do-well. There’s a
five-per-day limit for free queries, which should be more than

use it, just plug the number into the tool, and you’re good. Or
not, depending on what it reports. Either way, you will now
have the information you need.

you wouldn’t need this tool, but anything that makes the
second-hand market more attractive is a good thing, both
sustainability-wise, and wallet-weight-retention-wise.

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