Are you planning to buy a second-hand Apple products such as iPhone or iPad? If yes, whether locally on the retail stores near you or from a source like Amazon or Ebay, things just got a little trickier. Apple recently has disabled a tool that helps buyers of pre-owned Apple products check to see if the devices have been lost or stolen.
Apple's Activation Lock Checker Has Gone
Before, buyers of second-hand Apple products such as iPhones, iPads and iPods can check the Activation Lock status of the devices through iCloud to find out whether it's been stolen or not. For unknown reasons, Apple appears to have removed the checker that was previously available via iCloud.com. That tool, according to CNET, which used a device's IMEI number to determine its Activation Lock status, provided buyers a way to detect stolen devices.
The website that earlier displayed the Activation Lock checker resulted in an error since Monday afternoon. According to a PCMag, the reference to the status checker appears to have been removed from the Activation Lock support page. The website still offers advice to prospective owners of used Apple products, including a warning to consider in taking the "ownership of any used iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch until it's been erased."
Avoid Buying Stolen iPhones With This Useful Technique
Apple said that there is no harm in buying used iOS devices. But when you buy them from someone other than Apple store or an authorized reseller, it is up to you to ensure that the device is erased and no longer linked to the previous owner's account. You may follow these steps before you buy the device.
First, turn the device on and slide to unlock. Then, if the passcode lock screen or the Home screen appears, the device hasn't been erased. To completely erase the device, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. If all are erased, you are ready to begin the device setup process.
After choosing a language, determining a country and connecting to a network, the device will begin activation. If you're asked for the previous owner's Apple ID and password, the device is still linked to their account. Don't take ownership of any used iPhone, iPad, iPod, or even Apple Watch until it has been removed from the previous owner's account.