How to check iPhone when buying hand-held

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The essence of divorce

check, iphone, buying, hand-held

A rather banal scheme is to first show the buyer a real working gadget, and then replace it with something else. Nobody says that the divorce victim will leave the deal with a brick, it may be:

  • a smartphone similar in appearance, but locked to the operator or iCloud;
  • iPhone after repair / drowned man / “Frankenstein” (when a smartphone is assembled from several);
  • lost or stolen gadget;
  • Chinese copy of iPhone on Android.

All this will be given with the original packaging and documents from a real iPhone, which was checked for several minutes before purchasing.

12 Things MUST Check Before Buying Used iPhone (2020)

So a fraudster can sell the same smartphone twice. I bought an official iPhone and a cheap copy, once I sold a copy in the original box, and the second time the original without boxes and documents.

How scammers cheat you when buying an iPhone from their hands

Apple equipment sells very well in the secondary market, for a long time he himself updated the iPhone in this way: he sold the old one through the notice boards and found a new one there.

On the one hand, it is beneficial, because Apple smartphones and tablets are of good build quality and long-term support. You can take a used iPhone, walk around with it for a year and a half and sell it for normal money.

On the other hand, scammers come up with many schemes that are associated specifically with the sale of the iPhone in the secondary market. As you know, everything new is well forgotten old.

Keep the scheme long forgotten by many, but still working today.

How to hook a victim

The fraudster places an ad on classified sites and topic groups for the sale of an iPhone at a tempting price. For example, iPhone X for 50 thousand rubles.

The smartphone is in perfect condition, the kit is complete. There is a box and documents so as not to arouse any suspicion.

The fraudster actively communicates with all potential buyers, provides all the data about the smartphone, sends additional photos, maybe even show IMEI for verification.

Such an ad will quickly find buyers, the price is much lower than that of the officials, lower than gray dealers and practically the lowest in the secondary market. For plausibility, the scammer will even invent a story about the need for money for treatment, car repairs, buying an apartment or something else.

The meeting to check the smartphone will take place in a crowded place, during the day and will not cause any fears from the buyer. iPhone X in perfect condition will be given a twist in the hands, make all the necessary checks, verify the serial numbers in the smartphone and on the box.

There are no dirty tricks or hidden defects. iPhone makes and receives calls, connects to Wi-Fi, takes pictures, not a single scratch on the screen and back cover.

How to breed

When the buyer is ready to purchase a smartphone, the fraudster trite replaces the device. As the saying goes, sleight of hand and no fraud.

If you think that only the last suckers will not notice the replacement, you are mistaken. In the arsenal of modern breds there are several tricks at once, which are used depending on the behavior of the buyer and the situation.

At the very last moment before paying, when the money is already in the hands of the buyer, and the seller has untied his Apple ID smartphone and is preparing to remove his SIM card, an incoming call arrives on the iPhone. The conversation takes a couple of minutes, the fraudster is clearly talking about something important, his expression changes and he in every possible way shows that his thoughts are not at the place of the deal, but somewhere very far.

After a short conversation, the fraudster automatically puts the smartphone in the inner of his clothes, and then suddenly comes to his senses, changes his mind and takes the device back.

He apologizes and says that he hid the iPhone out of habit, thought about it and all that. Then he quickly completes the extraction of the SIM card, says that he is in a hurry, takes the money and leaves without even counting it.

If, for some reason, the trick with the call failed (the SIM card was removed earlier or the call failed), the fraudster has another scheme. At the very last moment, he counts the money and looks at the buyer in surprise.

The following phrase follows: “how 50 thousand? we agreed on 52! ” The fraudster quickly hides the smartphone in his / bag and tries to leave. He says that he was counting on a large amount, because it is with that kind of money that they are waiting for him in a bank / hospital or somewhere else.

The buyer does not want to miss out on a clearly good deal, because even 52 thousand for an iPhone in this state is normal. He agrees and reports a couple of thousand from above, and in return receives an already replaced iPhone.

A third option is also possible, when the dexterous hands of a fraudster will replace a smartphone without unnecessary inventions and stories at the very last moment. Smartphone can be replaced from a sleeve, hidden or napkin on the table.

How not to get caught

It’s simple: be extremely careful when buying an iPhone in the secondary market.

Never lose sight of the smartphone you are buying, or if any of the above happened. Take a good look at the device returned to you.

It is best to make a deal with a friend, it will be much more difficult for a fraudster to deceive two people at once.

We suggest recalling other divorce schemes:

Artyom Surovtsev

I love technology and everything connected with it. I believe that the greatest discoveries of humanity are yet to come!

How to unlink iPhone from previous owner’s iCloud account

After you have checked the phone, you are satisfied with its condition and you want to buy it from your hands, ask the owner to unlink the device from the current account in any of the ways described below.

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remove the device from iCloud on the iPhone itself.

  • Open iPhone Settings:
  • Go to the General section.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Reset:
  • Here select Erase Content and Settings:
  • In the pop-up window, click Erase:
  • Enter your passcode:

If everything went well, it means that you were able to successfully unlink the iPhone from your old iCloud account.

How to Remove the Old Owner’s Apple ID. Send an Unlock Request to Apple

This method allows you to unlock your iPhone if you have forgotten your username (email) and password from iCloud, or if you purchased a device that requires you to enter someone else’s Apple ID, but you can confirm the right to legally own the phone. This way you can unlock iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple TV. You will need:

It is better to create all these things in advance, before contacting support, so that everything goes faster and easier. Otherwise, you will have to call back and each time explain to the new employee what you are trying to do and at what stage you are now.

Now you need to contact Apple support directly. There you will be asked for everything that I described above: a photo of a receipt with a serial number, a photo of a box. You will dictate your email, which you have access to in this memment, and you will be sent a link to download files with photos of the receipt and other proof of iPhone ownership. In this case, you will need to log in with your Apple ID. That’s what you created it for. so you don’t get stuck in this step. In Russia, the support number for iPhone unlocking: 88005556734

unlink iPhone from Apple ID using a computer.

  • Sign in to iCloud:
  • Select the Find iPhone section:
  • Enter your iCloud password again:
  • Select device:
  • Click Erase iPhone:

If at the moment the iPhone is not connected and the system cannot find it, you can also click All devices and on the cross in front of the iPhone that you want to unlink from your Apple ID, and then confirm the deletion in the pop-up window:

As you can see, the warning says exactly what we need at the moment. deleting means unbinding the gadget from the current Apple ID so that this iPhone can be activated and used by another user with his iCloud account.

How to check if iPhone is linked to iCloud account using Apple ID or not

Pick up your iPhone and press the Home key. If he asks for an Apple ID and password or log in with Touch ID, then he is not unlinked from the iCloud account and you cannot buy a device in this state:

If you come across instructions on how to check activation on the Internet at then you know, Apple has closed this service and it no longer works:

Clean your iPhone. Go to Settings General Reset Erase content and settings Erase Enter passcode, click Erase iPhone (twice) Enter iCloud password.

Naturally, you must first obtain the seller’s consent to this (and at the same time look at his reaction). After cleaning, go to iPhone settings. You should see an offer to sign in to iCloud instead of the owner’s name.

What happens in this case

Important! After you delete your iCloud account, be sure to check again if the iPhone is unlinked. Once cleared, it shouldn’t ask for a passcode, Touch ID fingerprint, or ask for the old owner’s Apple ID.

How to unlink iPhone from iCloud when buying handheld and remove the former owner’s Apple ID

If you do not unlink the iPhone from the previous owner’s iCloud account, then one day the iPhone may be locked and you will no longer be able to use it. This can happen for example after an iOS update. After installing the new version of the operating system, you may see the message “Activate iPhone. This iPhone is currently linked to an Apple ID ( Sign in with the Apple ID you used to set up this iPhone or Activation Lock. ICloud blocking happens on the Apple server. Therefore, neither factory reset nor flashing will unlock iPhone.

The main thing that you must understand in this matter is that if the iPhone is tied to iCloud and you do not know the username and password for the account, then you will not be able to use it for a long time. The way out is to untie the iPhone from the Apple ID of the current owner when buying from hands before payment.

The methods for deleting the previous user account described in this manual are legal. They don’t exploit any iCloud or iOS vulnerabilities and don’t hack anything. Naturally, you should not expect miracles from them. If you have an iPhone of unknown origin in your hands without a box and a receipt that requires you to enter the Apple ID with which it was originally activated, you will fail. For this, in fact, there is a binding. so that if the device is stolen or lost, it would be impossible to use.

How to check iPhone by IMEI

IMEI is a unique international identifier for mobile equipment. This 15-digit number must match within the same set. We check:

  • IMEI on the back case
  • IMEI in “Settings. General. About this device”
  • IMEI on request #
  • IMEI on the SIM-card tray (not relevant for iPhone SE and “fives”)
  • IMEI on the box (if any)

The box worries us last. If everything matches, except for her, it’s okay, just the seller brought the device in non-original packaging. Another question: why did he not warn you about this? This is another reason to double-check everything.

How to check iPhone upon purchase. Top Tips

I am often brought to Avito in search of nishtyaks at low prices. Yes, I haven’t gotten lucky yet, so I wasn’t lucky like our editor-in-chief recently. But a couple of times I managed to profitably exchange smartphones.

It is important to understand that any site with ads is a field of action for various scammers and, in general, unscrupulous people. It’s easy to get into an unpleasant surprise here.

Therefore, any equipment must be examined in detail before purchasing. I bought an iPhone several times. I’ll tell you how to check them.

How to check iPhone on Apple website

In the same place, in “Settings. General. About this device”, the serial number is written. You can use it too. Go to the Apple website and check the status of the device.

This is how you can understand that this is not a Frankenstein with a conventional 6s body and a six-piece filling. The page will show the model of the device, the date of the end of the limited warranty and information about the date of purchase.

Exploring the screen

The display is a treasure trove of weaknesses. What you need to pay attention to.

Press the screen in different places with little force. There should not be anything crunching, creaking or dangling here. Otherwise, the smartphone was dropped or opened.

The backlight should be uniform. Open an image with a white background and black and notice the glow around the edges. There should be no obvious spots and too bright places. If there are no such images, open any application with a suitable background. Well, or take a photo, for example.

There should be no yellow spots on the screen. Those that appear after the smartphone overheats. The fact is that under the influence of temperature, the glue between the touchscreen and the display changes color. Similar jambs appear if the device is constantly squeezed, for example, held in the back of jeans and sat on hard surfaces.

With the same set of pictures we check for stripes and broken pixels.

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The easiest. Is he untied

A smartphone can pass any test brilliantly, but if at the same time the seller finds it difficult to disable “Find iPhone”. say goodbye, nothing will work.

For those who are not in the subject: this tightly ties the iPhone to the owner of the Apple ID, and, in fact, gives him the keys to manage the device. For example, he can remotely lock your newly purchased iPhone and demand money to unlock it. He will know where you are. What a pleasure.

The desired item is hidden in the settings, in the “iCloud” section, but it is much easier to drive “Find iPhone” in the same place in the search.

Don’t forget the buttons

Do not fall for persuasion, the broken Home button is almost impossible to fix. After replacing the part, you will be left without Touch ID.

Need to go online

At this stage, your SIM card with the Internet will also come in handy. It is enough to go to any page to understand that the smartphone works in LTE networks.

You should also find a Wi-Fi hotspot nearby, or distribute it yourself. No one needs wireless internet problems.

It will be useful to go to Maps and determine the current location of the smartphone to make sure that everything is in order with GPS.

In informational articles on our site, materials have already been published on how not to be fooled when buying an iPhone. As a rule, in this case, we talked about new smartphones and ways to verify their authenticity. Answering questions about testing iPhone 12 for originality, we will also touch on the topic of buying phones on the secondary market.

So, the first thing to do before buying is to check the iPhone by the serial number, which must match on the packaging and in the smartphone software. When you turn on the phone for the first time, you can find out the cherished numbers by clicking on the “i” button in the lower right corner of the welcome screen. Or on the way to the “Settings”. “General”. “About this device” menu. By the way, the fact that at launch the smartphone offered to go all the way through the settings and turned on the welcome window does not mean anything at all. The same will happen on a 5-year-old device if its operating system is reset to factory settings.

By the way, we mentioned this for a reason. As you probably noticed, we somehow accidentally approached the next question. did not the iPhone 12 have been activated earlier. To exclude this possibility, you need to go to the iPhone verification site in the section “Checking service and support rights”) and enter “serial” in the appeared window. If the official verification of the iPhone is successful, you will be prompted to activate it. In this case, you can rejoice. in front of you is a completely new smartphone. By the way, after activation begins the countdown of the warranty period of 365 days.

Attention! Information about device activation on Apple servers may not appear immediately. This usually happens after a couple of minutes, but the manufacturer himself takes up to 12 hours to verify the iPhone.

After activation in the menu “About this device” will appear the item “Limited warranty”, which indicates the end date of its validity. Of course, any differences in the numbers on the website and in the smartphone should make you suspicious. It is better to refuse such a purchase.

Checking iPhone by IMEI has already been discussed in detail on our website. Since there are no differences in this issue for the 12th line of iPhone, we recommend that you refer to this article. The only thing I would like to draw your attention to is that the IMEI of the iPhone 12 is engraved in the slot of the SIM card tray (from the side of the screen).

How to check iPhone 12 hand-held

Needless to say, hand-checking the iPhone on Apple’s website will not be enough. In addition, you need to make sure that there are no software locks and that all its functions are working properly.

“Unlocked” iPhone or “neverlock”?

Since there are many devices on the market tied to a specific telecom operator, there is a risk of “running into” a contract device. It’s good if it’s a “gray” iPhone 12 bought overseas and unlocked before being sold. In this case, you buy the same new smartphone, only with the activation made earlier. Checking the iPhone serial number on the official website will show you how many days of warranty you have left, so you can immediately decide whether to buy this unit or not.

If the contract device was not subjected to software “unlocking”, then it could be used using a special adapter for SIM-cards. Since this method is not very convenient and does not guarantee stable operation, these iPhones 12 are sold cheaper than “neverlock”. In order to make sure that there is no connection to a specific cellular network, you need to install your SIM card in the slot and see that in the Settings menu. “Basic”. “About this device” your service provider was specified (line “Operator”).

To prevent the leakage of personal data when a smartphone is stolen or lost, all the latest generation iPhones are tied to an Apple ID. By connecting to the iCloud service, the owner can remotely block the phone, delete all information or find out geolocation data. To use the device without restrictions, you must have access to the account of the previous owner. Otherwise, the iPhone 12 can be locked at any time and after that it will only work for parts.

So, if you see “Activation Lock” on the display, and the seller cannot fill in the “Apple ID” and “Password” lines correctly, then consider that you have wasted your time. If the device turned on without requiring identification and verification of the iPhone by number was successful, then go to the “Settings” menu. Apple ID. ICloud. Here you should check if there is a check mark next to the function “Find iPhone”. If this mode is activated, ask the seller to turn it off. To turn off the search function, he will need to enter the password for the Apple ID. Be sure to check that the search was deactivated. there were cases that after some time after the purchase, the seller blocked the device and demanded money in exchange for the password to the account.

It’s best not to risk it and immediately reset the software to factory settings, then perform a new activation with your personal Apple ID and password. To do this, ask the seller to enter the password in the menu that appears when you open the “Settings”. “Basic”. “Reset” and click “Erase settings and data”.

Of course, when buying an iPhone 12 on the secondary market, you need to check the performance of all functions and the health of the hardware. Read about how to do this in other articles on our website.

Test call

You can determine the quality of communication by making a call. To do this, insert your SIM card and try to dial the number. When talking, make sure that the audibility is good, how the speakerphone and dialing of numbers work. Here you can also check the status of the headphone jack. Just plug them in during a call and determine the sound quality.

For high-quality phone calls, you need a working microphone. To test it, go to the standard “Voice Recorder” application on the iPhone and make a test recording, and then listen to it.

Wi-Fi module performance and geolocation

You should definitely check how Wi-Fi works, and if it functions at all. To do this, connect to any available network or distribute the Internet from your device.

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Turn on the “Location Services” feature in the settings. Then go to the standard Maps app and see if the iPhone detects your location correctly. You can learn how to activate this function from our other article.

Battery status

You can determine how much the battery on the iPhone has worn out using a special program on the PC. That is why it is worth taking a laptop with you before meeting with the seller. The check is designed to find out exactly how the declared and current capacity of the battery has changed. We suggest referring to the following guide on our website to find out which program is needed for this and how to use it.

A banal connection of an iPhone to a laptop for charging will show whether the corresponding connector is working properly and whether the device is charging at all.

Originality and serial number

Perhaps one of the most important points when checking a used iPhone. The serial number or IMEI is usually indicated on the box or on the back of the smartphone itself. It can also be viewed in the settings. With the help of this information, the buyer knows both the model of the device and its specifications. You can read more about how to verify the authenticity of the iPhone by IMEI in the article on our website.

The originality of a smartphone can also be determined via iTunes. When the iPhone is connected, the program should recognize it as an Apple device. In this case, the name of the model will appear on the screen, as well as its characteristics. You can read about how to work with iTunes in our separate material.

IPhone hand-held check

Contact with liquid

Sometimes sellers offer their customers refurbished iPhones that have been in the water. You can identify such a device by carefully looking at the SIM card slot connector. If this area is colored red, then the smartphone was once drowned and there is no guarantee that it will last a long time or be free from defects caused by this incident.

Checking the sensor and screen

Determine the state of the sensor by pressing and holding your finger on one of the applications. The user will enter move mode when the icons start to shake. Try moving the icon across all parts of the screen. If it moves freely across the entire screen, there are no jerks or jumps, then everything is in order with the sensor.

Turn on full brightness on your phone and check the display for dead pixels. They will be clearly visible. Remember that changing your iPhone screen is not cheap. You can find out if the screen of this smartphone has been changed by pressing on it. Is there a characteristic creak or crunching sound? Probably, it was changed, and not the fact that the original.

Hull inspection

Inspection is needed not only to assess the appearance of the device, but also to check the health of the buttons and connectors. What you need to pay attention to:

    The presence of chips, cracks, scratches, etc. Peel off the film, usually such nuances are not noticeable on it;

Take a look at the screws on the bottom of the case, next to the charging connector. They should look intact and be star-shaped. In another situation, the phone has already been disassembled or repaired;

The efficiency of the buttons. Check all the keys for correct response, they do not get stuck, if they are easy to press. The “Home” button should work the first time and in no case should it stick;

Touch ID. Test how well the fingerprint scanner recognizes, what is the response speed. Or, check that Face ID is working on newer iPhone models;

Camera. Check for defects on the main camera, dust under the glass. Take a couple of photos and make sure they don’t turn blue or yellow.

What to take with you

To test your smartphone, you need a cable, an external battery, a SIM card of a suitable format, headphones and a memory card (if supported).

Do not consider offers without photos and descriptions

If you have one or two standard photos from Google and the signature “all the details by phone” is not an option. A self-respecting seller will spend five minutes and take a photo of the smartphone from different sides, and also write about all the important points. when it was purchased, is there a guarantee, are there any defects in appearance and other problems, what is the reason for the sale. However, not everyone is good at the epistolary genre. If you have any questions, call or write to the advertiser.

An ad that looks credible

What are the pros and cons of buying used devices

The new device is expensive, and it is possible to find it in perfect condition one-third cheaper. And with some minor flaws. even cheaper. Buying a used one is an opportunity to afford more if you are on a limited budget. For example, a flagship model instead of a dull “middling”.

Cons. you do not know how you used the device, if it has any problems. And you won’t be able to check if the seller is telling the truth.

Don’t be fooled by that are too low

The seller may say “I urgently need money, so this is the price.” Do not rush: if a person has real problems, then he would rather go to the nearest pawnshop than sell the thing according to the ad.

What to check when buying a smartphone from your hands: from ads to dead pixels

Hand buying is always a risk. But this guide will help you to keep it to a minimum.

Why do people sell used devices

And it also happens that there are serious problems with a smartphone, and they want to get rid of it as soon as possible, having received as much money as possible.

“Punch” the author

Many sites provide an opportunity to view all the seller’s ads. Pay attention to them: if a person sells dozens of used pipes, then he is a reseller. He cannot be responsible for what he sells, his goal is to get rich. Such offers are best avoided.

Also try entering the seller’s number into the search engine. Of course, if he is a swindler, he will use a “clean” SIM card every time. But if the person is “real”, you can find some more information about him. there is more trust. However, do not worry if you don’t find anything: many people are afraid of spam and try not to show numbers on the network.

If the seller’s number is displayed many times in the search engine, most likely he is not a scammer


Your goal is to make sure the device is not damaged. Examine it from all sides, pay attention to scratches, dents, ask the seller about their origin. Often, smartphones are replaced with broken screens and low-quality Chinese counterparts are installed. Not everyone is able to tell the difference by eye, but it’s real. It is best to take a closer look at the original before buying in order to be able to compare.

Twist the device in your hand, squeeze the case. Pay attention if there are creaks, backlashes. Press all keys. Take a closer look at the bolts. you can see if they were touched with a screwdriver.

Examine your smartphone carefully for damage

Determining moisture ingress is difficult, but some models, for example iPhone, have special indicators. Keep in mind though: the latest generation models are water resistant.