As a smartphone repair repair specialist in Toronto, we are witnessing an alarming increase in the number of consumers falling victim to fraudsters selling “like-new” or “new in box” high-end iPhone and Samsung phones that are blacklisted shortly after a sale – disabling a phone’s ability to pick up mobile network service in Canada.

Many sellers of used phones are submitting fraudulent insurance claims to mobile carriers (under premium device protection plans) by reporting a smartphone lost/stolen after a sale. In other situations, individuals are being sold stolen phones that get blacklisted by Canadian carriers due to unpaid bills. Prior to a buy, consumers can test if the phone picks cellular service, check online to or contact a repair shop to determine if a phone is blacklisted, but that’s little help when a mobile device is blacklisted after a sale, even after you were able to use the phone for a while afterward.

Fraudsters are benefiting financially by targeting individuals that are too eager to buy a “discounted” new smartphone, but losing $300 to $800 on the purchase of a blacklisted Samsung high-end Galaxy phone or Apple iCloud locked iPhone. An individual of a new smartphone can also inadvertently enter into a contract with a carrier that results in high monthly phone bills. 

Ideally a consumer should take note of the seller’s ID card to confirm his name, address and go together to your phone company to confirm the status of the phone your are buying and register its IMEI number under your mobile account. Knowing the mobile phone number of the person that sells you a phone is completely useless, as your distress calls will be blocked or never pickup. Any blacklisted phone seller’s information should be given to your carrier, along with its IMEI number, so they will be able to report the fraudulent insurance claims, and in time, perhaps help deter further fraudulent claims, which are supporting criminal activity.

Police agencies are unable to help individuals that are victimized by cell phone fraudsters because telecommunication companies cannot share client information.

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