Stolen or lost iPhones, how hackers manage to resell them

Thanks to a phishing campaign, savvy thieves trick a theft victim into removing any connection to their iPhone so they can resell it

Smartphones are one of the top targets for thieves around the world. Despite the best efforts of users and manufacturers, the black market for buying and selling these devices is thriving. iPhones, being among the most expensive and sought after phones, are among the most targeted devices for theft.

Cupertino smartphones, however, are protected by several services to prevent a thief from reselling or using a stolen device. Despite this, there are some techniques that malicious people use to be able to resell our iPhone illegally. First, it must be said that not all users use the service Find My iPhone. This is a function that allows us to track the smartphone remotely and also to make it ring or lock it remotely. If we have never activated this service on our mobile phone, the advice is to do so, we will make life much more difficult for thieves.

How thieves act

The most experienced thieves use a number of techniques to circumvent the Find My iPhone service. First, once the iPhone is stolen, they send a message to the victim's email address informing them that the phone has been found and will be returned to them. In the message there is a link, which is justified as the necessary link to see the current location of our phone and thus go to recover it. Unfortunately, however, the link will connect us to a phishing site where every piece of information we enter will be recorded by the thief who will know our ID code and will change every setting we set. At that point the thief will clean the device from our data and will be ready to resell it. This kind of fraud happens mainly in certain countries: Kosovo, Philippines, India and throughout North Africa.

What to do if we buy a second-hand iPhone

Fraudulent sales of iPhones are a widespread phenomenon, so when we buy a second-hand device we must make a number of checks. The most important thing is to check that the serial number of the iPhone is not on the blacklist of stolen phones. There are several sites to verify the reliability or not of an IMEI code, the identification number of each iPhone.