Home Tech Editorials Consequences of Buying Stolen, Cheap 2nd Hand Smartphone Units

Consequences of Buying Stolen, Cheap 2nd Hand Smartphone Units

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Today, there are still people patronizing or buying 2nd hand units from random people, fly-by-night stores, and even from known places to have illegal practices like Greenhills in San Juan just in order to save some cash. In reality, there are always dangers behind this kind of deals.

So what are the dangers and consequences of 2nd hand or stolen units bring?

Buyers are mostly to be imprisoned and fined than the seller

Buying stolen smartphones, tablets, cameras, laptops, watches and other gadgets could land you to jail. Police will likely arrest the buyer with the actual unit–a solid evidence in hand–whether he or she is aware or not that the unit purchased was stolen. And this event has happened several times.

Easily tracked by software and anti-theft services

With the use of current technologies and security features, finding your missing or stolen Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S smartphones is just easy, especially with the help of telcos like Smart, Globe or Talk’n txt. They could track down the location of the phone through their cell sites or through the IP Address of your internet or WiFi connection. And this should make you vulnerable and easily be located by authorities and other parties.

See also: Five Best Compact Smartphones in the Philippines

Block cellular or SIM services

Victims of theft done by snatchers or “holdapers” have the right to report and request for network block to NTC. The agency only requires the original retail box with IMEI number (press *#06# to know your IMEI code) or receipt from the victim. Once passed and approved by Globe or Smart, phones will be blocked from the cellular services which makes the voice calls, cellular internet and SMS features useless.

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Block the entire system of the phone

Some states in US have already started supporting smartphones blocking, not just by cellular services but the whole system of the device. Blocked devices cannot be turned on or it will be totally dead and useless.

Defected hardware and software features

Even getting the 2nd unit cannot guarantee that it has the original parts. Some will just replace the damaged display of the device with the substandard or class A parts, producing defected phones or gadgets when sold to new owners. A great example is on Greenhills where they cannibalized some devices and utilize the different original parts. And that applies too on software side especially on older iPad generations and Windows laptops and computers.

Carrier or network provider lock

Most of the devices being sold refurbished or 2nd hand are likely carrier-locked or SIM exclusive to the provider of the plan and device. And even if you bypassed or unlocked the SIM functionalities, it would still require you to spend extra time or cash.

Steps on how to avoid stolen products

The best prevention is always to stop patronizing these products, instead buy from official and legit stores offering refurbished or discounted units. Online stores or grey market always offer brand new phones with 2k to 10k Philippine pesos difference in the cost of original or manufacturer warranty.


But of course, not all second hand or used units are stolen. Just always makes sure and practice to deal with the people you trust and acquainted with. Ask for the history of the device, the defects, the retail box if it comes with it and the official receipt or OR.

If you have related experience, you can share it on the comments down below.

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