Buying a used iPhone off of websites such as eBay and Craigslist can be a sketchy proposition. Especially taking into consideration that, more often than not, you don’t know anything about the seller, and you probably don’t know how they handled the device during their time of ownership.
An even bigger problem, though it’s prevalence has diminished significantly over the years, is that buyers simply don’t know whether or not the phone was stolen. Primarily in light of this, Apple has introduced iCloud locking for all its devices. This major security protocol will, for all intents and purposes, render any stolen iPhone useless.
In other words, if you just so happen to purchase a used, iCloud-locked phone, you’re pretty much out of luck.
One of the very first things you should do before buying a used iPhone, is check to see whether it is iCloud locked or not. Fortunately, this is a relatively straightforward process; simply follow the steps as outlined below:
How to Verify If Your iPhone Is iCloud Locked or Unlocked
1. Navigate to settings from the home screen
2. Select General
3. Select About
4. Look for the IMEI or Serial number on the list of information
5. Open the iPhone iCould activation website
6. Enter the IMEI or Serial number in the Activation page as specified above
After the above six steps have been followed, you will be automatically directed to a new screen that will inform you as to whether or not your iPhone is unlocked.
The bottom line is you should NOT buy iCloud locked devices, because it’s impossible to unlock them. Therefore, always make sure to verify it is iCloud unlocked before purchasing. It’ll save you time and more importantly, a lot of money.