How to find out if your used iPhone has been stolen

How to find out if your used iPhone has been stolen


Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: Less than a minute

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Buying a used iPhone can be a shady process.

If you're buying it from a third party on a site like Craigslist or eBay, there's a chance your "new" used iPhone could have been stolen — iPhones are a hot black market item.

To help customers avoid purchasing a stolen iPhone, Apple has created an online tool that lets people check whether their iPhone has been remotely wiped by its owner.

When people lose an iPhone (or have it swiped), there's a likelihood they'll try to enable "Activation Lock" in iCloud's "Find my iPhone" feature — a kind of anti-theft tool Apple makes available to its customers. Apple's new tool lets people plug in an iPhone's unique serial number or International Mobile Equipment Identity number to determine whether Activation Lock has been enabled.

If it has, that means you won't be able to use the phone until Activation Lock has been turned off by its owner.

It's best not to buy that iPhone. It was probably stolen.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Related links

Related stories

Most recent Science stories

Related topics

David Goldman


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast