Woman unknowingly buys ‘blacklist’ phone on a marketplace app

Reporter: Taylor Petras
The smartphone, a blacklisted device. Photo via WINK News.
The smartphone, a blacklisted device. Photo via WINK News.

In the era of online shopping, it is becoming increasingly difficult to spot real items from fake ones even if the person meets with the seller to pick up the item.

This Christmas, Baily Gregory decided to treat herself to a new phone.

“I’ve been saving up for a long time to be able to buy a new phone,” Gregory said.

$250 for a used Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Gregory meet with the seller on Christmas Eve to make the exchange.

“Then about an hour or two later,” Gregory said, “I go to make a phone call and I get a message saying that my phone is blocked on all the networks.”

After a phone call to her smartphone provider and doing a little research herself, Gregory came to a conclusion.

“Sure enough, whenever I typed in the code it came back lost and stolen,” Gregory said. “My heart just sank and I was so disappointed.”

The IMEI code on the back of the smartphone came back blacklisted. It was blocked on all cell phone providers.

“It’s basically a glorified brick,” Gregory said.

Only the original owners have the power to unblock it, which leaves Gregory without a phone and out $250 for the holidays.

“I easily could have used it for something else,” Gregory said.

Now, she has one piece of advice.

“Check your codes,” Gregory said, as she chuckles.

A good warning if you are looking to purchase any electronics on an online marketplace after Christmas.

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