It was great to read about successful businesses in this article from the BBC about buying second-hand smartphones.
Second-hand smartphones are good for the environment and often represent real bargains. As with any used purchase, though it is essential to take steps to protect yourself and minimise the chances of buying a dud.
Used phones may have been involved in frauds from ID theft involving bogus airtime contracts to fake retailer returns and fraudulent insurance claims. In addition of course to the all-too-common burglary, robbery, and more serious crimes.
What can you do to minimise your risk of buying a stolen phone?
- Always ask the seller for the IMEI and Manufacturer’s serial number of the phone – if they have many units to sell they may not know this until actual despatch. Still, a private or small volume seller should always be able and willing to provide this.
- Use the numbers to run a check for yourself at CheckMEND.com. This will let you know if there is any record that the phone is lost, stolen, or the subject of an insurance claim, police report, or corporate ownership that may affect your ability to obtain the legal title.
- Better still, ask the seller for a copy of the CheckMEND certificate produced when they first received the phone. The best sellers do this as part of their business routinely and again will be happy to provide it. An advantage here is that you may check the certificate’s authenticity free of charge by entering its number at checkmend.com/uk/verify.
- Confirm the IMEI and the serial number of the phone that arrives matches what the seller said they were sending.
In a typical month, traders using CheckMEND avoid buying £35m worth of stolen property. Don’t become the second victim of a phone crime, insist on CheckMEND.