1. OrbitD's Avatar
    Hey, I bought an iPhone off ebay and the person selling it said it has a clean ESN(I haven't gotten the phone yet, I should be getting it in a few days). What happens if I activate the iPhone on my verizon account and a month later the person who sold it to me calls up verizon and reports it stolen. Will it become useless and can it be flagged as a bad ESN? In other words can the original owner of the phone report it stolen even if it isn't activated on their account? Sorry if I posted this in the wrong section, I've never used this forum before.
    04-12-2011 05:20 PM
  2. soulfetcher13's Avatar
    I don't think so but either way can be easily refuted with all of the ebay stuff. Make sure you save your emails both between you and the seller and from ebay themselves. Conversely if it does have a bad esn to start, you can go through ebay to get your money back as well.
    OrbitD likes this.
    04-12-2011 05:51 PM
  3. OrbitD's Avatar
    Thanks! Made me feel a lot better.
    04-12-2011 06:15 PM
  4. sunrat39's Avatar
    I bought my iphone 4 off craigslist and I too was worried about the whole ESN/stolen possibilities. Bottom line is if its a clean ESN you are good to go. If it was stolen the owner would have contacted Verizon because their account is tied to that phone, and so the phone would be deactivated with the corresponding ESN deemed bad.

    Also, Verizon cannot just halt your service with the iphone if something arises later because verizon doesn't know if the item was sold say on CL or ebay.
    OrbitD likes this.
    04-13-2011 02:23 AM
  5. generik777's Avatar
    Why would they just sell you a phone and then report it stolen? It's not like they would get the phone back.
    04-13-2011 03:50 AM
  6. OrbitD's Avatar
    I bought my iphone 4 off craigslist and I too was worried about the whole ESN/stolen possibilities. Bottom line is if its a clean ESN you are good to go. If it was stolen the owner would have contacted Verizon because their account is tied to that phone, and so the phone would be deactivated with the corresponding ESN deemed bad.

    Also, Verizon cannot just halt your service with the iphone if something arises later because verizon doesn't know if the item was sold say on CL or ebay.
    Thanks a lot!

    Why would they just sell you a phone and then report it stolen? It's not like they would get the phone back.
    Couldn't they get insurance money off of it or something?
    04-13-2011 08:10 AM
  7. ajonesma's Avatar
    They would just get a replacement, no money just a refurb phone


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    04-13-2011 08:22 AM
  8. ulnek's Avatar
    tip 1: ask for the esn and call verizon and check to see if the esn is indeed clean. make the operator/tech support person, note on there the esn you checked and that it was indeed clean so that the seller can't claim it later.

    tip 2: when you get the phone, activate it immediately. that could avoid a seller scam where they might claim it as lost or stolen after. though they could do that while in transit which is why it's good to make the operator note somewhere on your account the esn you checked so you have some leverage when it comes to getting a refund from the seller/paypal.

    Note: once you have it on your account, no one can claim it lost or stolen because it will no longer be showing in anyone else's name/account but yours, so don't worry about it being reported stolen AFTER you have already activated it on your account.
    04-13-2011 08:51 AM
  9. Chaos5's Avatar
    Why would they just sell you a phone and then report it stolen? It's not like they would get the phone back.
    I think they were wondering as much as, when you report a stolen phone the previous ESN on your account gets "black listed" where it cannot be used. So basically he would have an expensive iPod.
    04-13-2011 03:18 PM
  10. Tassos's Avatar
    Ok I have a really important question and I would really appreciate any help. I am a little bit confused about the clean ESN thing. Let's assume that we have a phone with a BAD ESN. That means that I cannot use it with a specific carrier? If it reported as stolen etc in Verizon I can't use it with AT&T for example? If I take the phone in Europe I can't use it either? I have to make clear that I am talking about GSM technology and in Europe we can use sim cards WITHOUT a contract, just buy credits online to recharge the phone. I am asking this because I am interested to buy an Iphone 4 and probably use it in US and Europe. Thanks a lot!
    06-08-2011 07:24 AM
  11. Peligro911's Avatar
    Ok I have a really important question and I would really appreciate any help. I am a little bit confused about the clean ESN thing. Let's assume that we have a phone with a BAD ESN. That means that I cannot use it with a specific carrier? If it reported as stolen etc in Verizon I can't use it with AT&T for example? If I take the phone in Europe I can't use it either? I have to make clear that I am talking about GSM technology and in Europe we can use sim cards WITHOUT a contract, just buy credits online to recharge the phone. I am asking this because I am interested to buy an Iphone 4 and probably use it in US and Europe. Thanks a lot!
    Ok my wife actually works for verizon
    If a esn is bad it is black list nation wide to all carriers period. Second you can not report a phone stolen to get it black listed I'd it is not on your account so for the original question if u buy a phone it's clear n u activate it on ur account

    No the person who sold it can not report it stolen period since it's not even on there account anymore.
    06-09-2011 03:34 AM
  12. obutto#IM's Avatar
    ^The post above is incorrect.

    This will actually be my first post. I don't want someone getting wrong information .
    If a phone has a bad ESN, then it cannot be activated. Let's say you have a stolen Verizon iPhone. The original owner reported it stolen, so the ESN will be "bad". However, the ESN blacklist is only run carrier by carrier. The ESN will not be blacklisted on AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Cricket, MetroPCS, etc. Before you get excited, a Verizon iPhone cannot run on AT&T or T-Mobile because Verizon is CDMA while the others I mentioned are GSM. The only other really big mainstream CDMA phone provider is Sprint, but they do not allow you to activate Verizon phones. The only thing you can do with a bad ESN VZW iPhone is to flash it to a smaller CDMA provider such as Cricket or MetroPCS and use it on that.
    06-09-2011 04:01 PM
  13. Tassos's Avatar
    So that means if I have an Iphone 4 from AT&T (I am using this example because of the cdma technology) that uses GSM technology and the ESN or IMEI is bad, I can use it with a different carrier only that supports the same technology cause the "blacklist" is not shared between the carriers. Are you sure? Did you try it?
    06-09-2011 05:30 PM
  14. Peligro911's Avatar
    ^The post above is incorrect.

    This will actually be my first post. I don't want someone getting wrong information .
    If a phone has a bad ESN, then it cannot be activated. Let's say you have a stolen Verizon iPhone. The original owner reported it stolen, so the ESN will be "bad". However, the ESN blacklist is only run carrier by carrier. The ESN will not be blacklisted on AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Cricket, MetroPCS, etc. Before you get excited, a Verizon iPhone cannot run on AT&T or T-Mobile because Verizon is CDMA while the others I mentioned are GSM. The only other really big mainstream CDMA phone provider is Sprint, but they do not allow you to activate Verizon phones. The only thing you can do with a bad ESN VZW iPhone is to flash it to a smaller CDMA provider such as Cricket or MetroPCS and use it on that.
    Cricket stores here wouldn't do it for people that tried and that's not the info verizon states but they could lie but stuff changes but the original post stated about the previous owner reporting it after he activated it and that can not be done because to report it stolen or lost it would have to be active on the sellers account

    Thinking about it I bet the phone was not supported to be flashed it also wouldn't surprise me if Verizon says what they do to detour people from doing it but either way if your in that boat with a CDMA phone your gotta be stuck with a crap carrier
    Last edited by Peligro911; 06-09-2011 at 09:53 PM.
    06-09-2011 09:45 PM
  15. melissary's Avatar
    Ebay is a bad idea, period. PERIODDD. If you're going to purchase, do so locally and meet them at the carrier store so that you can get the phone activated and not go through this issue of a (possibly) bad ESN.
    06-12-2011 09:13 PM
  16. phreddyl's Avatar
    Ebay is a bad idea, period. PERIODDD. If you're going to purchase, do so locally and meet them at the carrier store so that you can get the phone activated and not go through this issue of a (possibly) bad ESN.
    eBay is not a bad idea if you do your homework. Look at the sellers ratings Have they sold phones before? Did the people who bought them have any issues? I personally have sold many phones via eBay. Since husband works for Verizon I can upgrade every ten months and sell my old phones.
    06-12-2011 09:23 PM
  17. obutto#IM's Avatar
    Cricket stores here wouldn't do it for people that tried and that's not the info verizon states but they could lie but stuff changes but the original post stated about the previous owner reporting it after he activated it and that can not be done because to report it stolen or lost it would have to be active on the sellers account

    Thinking about it I bet the phone was not supported to be flashed it also wouldn't surprise me if Verizon says what they do to detour people from doing it but either way if your in that boat with a CDMA phone your gotta be stuck with a crap carrier
    Cricket stores might not do it but it's really not hard to do it yourself or find an outside person on Craigslist who will do it for you. Yeah the second part of your post was correct. My bad .

    Ebay is not a bad idea. Buyer protection is all you need. I bought my iPhone for $400 shipped brand new. Just make sure you buy from a person with some selling experience. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions.
    06-13-2011 04:49 PM
  18. Coraya's Avatar
    eBay and paypal are always on the side of the buyer. Usually no matter what, no matter what disclaimers are on the sellers page, you will 99% of the time get your money back so don't worry. I always make sure I'm buying from a top rated seller though. It pretty much guarantees you wont be screwed over. Look into the next time. Cheers!
    06-21-2011 09:01 AM
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