Apple Now Lets You Check If An iPhone Is Stolen Before You Buy It


Want to check if that iPhone you’re considering nabbing off of Craigslist is stolen before you hand over your cold, hard cash?

Apple has just released a tool that exists solely to verify whether or not a used iPhone has been locked down remotely by its rightful owner.

All you need is the IMEI or the serial number. Punch one of those in, and it’ll tell you whether or not the device is activation locked, and whether or not it’s ready for a new Apple ID to sign in.

“But wait!” you say. “If I’m buying from someone on Craigslist, can’t I just check the phone to make sure it unlocks?”

Theoretically! But as iClarified points out, hackers figured out a method months ago to get past the activation lock screen just enough to make a device seem legit (until you try to, say, make a phone call with it.)

This prevents that; even if the activation lock has been circumvented somehow on the device, it’ll still show up as flagged on Apple’s end. It’ll also help on things like eBay (assuming the seller is willing to cough up the necessary details) where it’s tough to give the device a proper once over.