iPhone's IMEI is still linked to previous owner

Alt1acc

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Jul 28, 2019
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I bought a new iPhone X last week, only to find out a few days later that it was locked to Bell, despite what the seller had told me. I called Bell and they said that the phone’s IMEI is linked to an active account and I cannot get it unlocked without the original buyer’s permission. I have contacted the seller, but he is completely unresponsive to my calls and texts.

I just got a plan with Virgin Mobile for this phone (Virgin mobile and Bell share the same network so their sims are compatible with my locked phone), but I am worried that the IMEI of this phone can eventually prove to be a problem since it is still liked to someone else’s account. I was hoping that Virgin Mobile or Bell could transfer my IMEI from the other person’s account to my account, and I could request to unlock it after I’ve used their (Virgin Mobile) service, but I’m not sure if or how that would work. Even though I have made an account with them, the phone is still technically linked to another person’s account and is therefore not unlockable by me. Bell support also told me that I can not authorize the unlocking process since I am not the original owner of the phone. I asked them if they could contact or get in touch with the owner of the account, but they told me that it isn’t possible.

Is there a way to unlock this phone such as using a third party unlocking tool such as Mr.Sim even though the IMEI is still with a Bell account? I was thinking that I should get AppleCare+ on it, break the phone and receive a replacement one with a brand new IMEI, just to be sure that I won’t have any problems in the future but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea.

Any help with this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

Ledsteplin

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Oct 2, 2013
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Your best bet is still try contacting the previous owner. If not possible, there's nothing you can do. Where did you purchase the phone?
 

Annie_M

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Mar 2, 2016
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Unfortunately, I agree with the others. Without the original owner’s assistance, you may be out of luck. I would work on getting a refund from the seller. If that’d work, I would turn the phone into the police.
 

Annie_M

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Another option may be to contact your credit card company (assuming you used a credit) since you were sold something that is possibly stolen, you might be able to file a claim.