1. AC Question's Avatar
    I recently purchased a 2nd hand phone from ebay and need to bypass the setup wizard. I have no sim card and the phone has not been activated yet. Any ideas? Thanks for any - all help.
    07-16-2017 07:05 AM
  2. belodion's Avatar
    🙋If there is already an account associated with the phone, only the account holder can remove it. You need to contact that person. If that is not done, the phone will remain permanently unusable. It's a security feature.
    07-16-2017 07:40 AM
  3. Rukbat's Avatar
    And even if you take the SIM card out of your existing phone and put it into the second phone, you won't be able to make changes.

    It's an old eBay scam. The owner wants a new phone, but doesn't want to spend money, or he just wants money, so if he has insurance on the phone, he "sells" the phone on eBay, reports it missing, gets a new phone, and he has both the new phone and your money. (And if he reported it missing to his carrier, even putting a SIM in it won't allow it to connect until he notifies the carrier to remove it from the blacklist - they have him listed as the owner.)

    That's why it's best to buy a used phone on Swappa,(even though it's probably more expensive) or buy one locally and make the exchange (your money for his phone) through (and at) the carrier's store - they'll change the phone's data (in their database) to show you as the owner. (Buying on Swappa is about as safe - I haven't heard of anyone being able to use them to play this scam.)

    Right now, about all you can do is contact the seller. If he won't help you, and you paid through eBay, contact them and ask them to reverse the charge (and mention that you'll gladly return the phone to the seller if he pays for the shipping - it's useless to you anyway). If you didn't pay through eBay, about your only option is to contact the legal authorities (the District Attorney, if he's in the US) to report that he committed larceny by fraud. If the phone crossed state lines, contact the company that delivered it to you (so he can't use them any more). And hope that when he's contacted by the legal authorities, he's scared enough (petit larceny can carry a maximum sentence of up to 1 year in jail, probation, jail followed by probation, community service, or a fine. In addition, he'd be required to pay full restitution to you) to offer to settle with you in exchange for no jail time.
    belodion likes this.
    07-16-2017 04:26 PM
  4. belodion's Avatar
    It also occurred to me that it might not even have been the seller's phone.
    Sitting in a park recently, I heard a distant cry of 'Oi mate, wanna buy a phone?' - though not directed at me.
    07-16-2017 05:10 PM

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