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Woman Scammed into Buying Fake iPhone 8 on Kijiji for $800

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Renee duckworth

According to a CBC News report, a woman named Renee Duckworth, who seems to think of herself as a “savvy” customer, has been scammed into buying a fake iPhone 8 on Kijiji, Canada’s leading buy-and-sell website.

The device, for which Duckworth paid $800, not only turned out to be a fake, but it also didn’t function as a regular phone. “Even if this thing had worked, you’d feel crappy about it, but at least you’d have a phone,” she said. “But it doesn’t even work. You can’t even make it work”.

Kijiji screenshot

Duckworth told the publication that she had gone through rigorous steps to check the authenticity before making the purchase. She also asked for the IMEI number of the phone and checked it on a website that indicates whether the phone has been stolen, and this one checked out as “free and clear”. But when she went to her service provider to set up the phone, staff there told her it was a fake.

“The price wasn’t beyond belief but it was a good price. So it wasn’t one of those too-good-to-be-true things,” she said. The seller, a “young guy” who “didn’t seem edgy or nervous at all,” asked to meet Duckworth in a Shoppers Drug Mart parking lot, she said.

“He was very polite and cordial,” she said. “[There were] no flags, no flags at all.” Duckworth said the phone was in a sealed iPhone box, with a receipt taped to the top. The man said he had bought an extra one he realized he didn’t need.

“As soon as they opened the box they knew it wasn’t even an Apple iPhone. They told me it was different — there were things on it that were slightly different,” she recalled. “I’m sick to my stomach over it, and I’m sick to death of people taking advantage of other people.”

Apple says that consumers looking to buy the company’s products should always go to an authorized retailer. As for Kijiji, the company’s terms and conditions state it is not responsible for users’ actions, and that users agree not to hold it responsible for things other users post or do.

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  • Bill___A

    The iPhone 8 Plus is just recently out. Legitimate “used” ones are likely not on the market. Any posting of iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus devices should be viewed as highly suspicious. Although it was regrettable she got taken in, it was not a “savvy move” at all.

  • DJRiful

    This is why I meet local at public places to make transactions. I never accept online payment and mail it out. CASH ONLY! PERIOD!

  • skyhjgh

    She calls herself “savvy” but she failed to do the most basic thing…opening the box and turning the phone on before handing over the cash.

  • Olivier

    « Bought an extra one and realized he didn’t need it »… okay, who buys a 1000$ phone to then realize they don’t need it and sell it on Kijiji instead of returning it to the store ? And when a seller tells you to meet in a parking lot, it should be a major red flag. Get to their home, you’ll habe theor address.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I’ve had a few people off Kijiji tell me they wouldn’t open a box for me to see the product since it was sealed and if they unsealed it then it reduced the value for the duffuses that insist on a sealed box. Well, that’s sad and probably often true, but there’s no way I’d buy a product off Kajiji without seeing it AND testing it AND doing some research first AND meeting at a public place like a Starbucks. Anything else and it’s not worth the risk.

  • Riley Freeman

    i sold my iphone 7plus and the guy checked the imei on 2 diff websites and then went turned the phone on and cycled a whole bunch of different shit. i was stunned all the checking he was doing. He then told me he tried to meet 3 people the day before and all 3 had fake iphones they tried to sell. didnt even know that was a thing. I usually only sell on Kijiji never really buy.

    poor lady though. when i see green bubbles, i dont feel as safe when texting for these meetups. When i see blue, i am less worried because that means they are actually using an iphone and not a texting app. If that happened to me, i know a friend at almost every carrier, i would have that persons home address, with ease honestly

  • Bill___A

    Well then you don’t buy it. You need to check it out. You tell them that you open the box and if it is in new condition like *any* new phone would be, you’ll buy it. that should remove any “excuse” they have. Thieves come up with excuses for everything, and make it “sound” legit when it isn’t.

  • duke_seb

    100% agree when I bought my iPhone 6 a few years back I showed the guy the money and then told him I’m opening the box before I purchased it…. it was fine but don’t feel bad for someone that doesn’t test something before they buy it

    It’s so easy to reseal a box

  • Rtan

    Ive sold Iphones in Kijiji. I alway tell the buyer how to check for real or fake. And Pring confirmations from Apple on all my Iphones and tell buyer to bring SIM and make sure they are happy and its what theyvare looking for

    Not all sellers are scammers.

  • When I sell a sealed product, I don’t let the buyer remove the plastic wraps until they give me the money because if they decided to change their mind, I would lose resale value. I also do not share the IMEI/Serial Number by email because they should not be shared! They are unique identifiers.
    I do transactions in a police station, where there will be footage of the two people, and where the buyer can verify the serial number/IMEI of the actual phone.

  • Hahaha I use Hushed to hide my number because I don’t want bots sending me spam or simply do not want my number to be known by a stranger.
    Best thing is to meet at a police station. If you get scammed, there is evidence. And usually people who are reticent to meet there are shady.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    Of course I didn’t buy it.

  • Lmao that happened to me. I had a life emergency and forgot to return it 😉
    Plus a will never invite a stranger to my place. Meeting at a police station is the way to go.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I DO feel bad for people that trust people and get scammed. They are usually good people that assume other people are good too. The problem is the scammers, the people that insist on only buying sealed boxes, and companies like Apple that charge so much for their products that people feel the need to use Kajiji to get them. Why blame the innocent person?

  • Olley

    Seller is selling 8plus at almost 40% off and how’s that not a too good to be true price?That can’t be a legitimate price…you don’t need to be savvy to realize that. Use common sense next time.

  • Quintan Neville

    Literally none of this would have helped her

  • Dien Pham

    What dumbass lady doing the transaction in parking she deserve to be scam

  • korbindallis

    $1269 phone for $800 you kidding me too good to be true sadly, why doesn’t she try ebay if its fake get your money back will just cost you shipping

  • Olivier

    How is selling your phone trhough Kijiji less complicated than retirning it to the store ?

  • Marco

    your friends are not allowed to look up addresses unless requested by law enforcement. Looking up somebody’s address just because they work with a company to help you is against the law. They can lose their jobs.

  • Shevon Shevi Salmon

    Someone scammed me 800 as well it was a brown guy. He sold me a brand new in box iPhone 8 Plus but when we opened the box it was a dummy phone. We went back with my cousins and we had to brawl for the $800 luckily my Jamaican skill came into play and I GOT BACK MY MONEY.

  • Michael Conrad

    How is this news? Seriously.

  • Guest

    You were given $800 to get drunk and do a banjo dance? Good job, well done. Should hire yourself out for birthdays and Bar Mitzvahs; make loads of cash.

  • Riley Freeman

    thank you captain obvious. We all know the rules and how to get past them

  • h2oflyer

    Scamming is too easy because of the availability of fake sealed phones and gold coins.

  • Ernie

    It’s was one of those fake Chinese knock offs.

  • Rando

    Lol police station? Seems a bit… Idk Bs?

  • mcfilmmakers

    If she was savvy she would have known it was fake in first look to. If she was savvy she would not have bought it in Kijiji. If she was savvy she would not have spent that much on it in the first place because it was on Kijiji. I’m sorry but she is far from savvy and much more foolish than she believes.

  • mcfilmmakers

    He just said why!!!

  • Yeah, that is a pretty bullshit thing to do.

  • George

    I do agree about her being savvy… But I would also say that it’s definitely not impossible to get good deals on Kijiji or even craigslist. I bought my wife’s Samsung galaxy s7 on Craigslist for $600. But I did do my homework before purchasing it and made sure it was indeed what it should be.

  • I just laughed hard at her disappointed face. So priceless!

  • Brown guy? lmao

  • Olley

    I think her definition of savviness is that she watches evening news on tv. It is true that the majority of people don’t read tech sites or update their phone on a regular basis. At least she knows what IMEI is, that’s much better than 90% of users already. Still, common sense is common sense… you simply don’t buy an iPhone in a parking lot.

  • Not really, I’ve been doing it for years. The College Toronto Police station has an area dedicated to Kijiji transactions.
    Google it ?

  • :’)

  • Y’all say it’s BS, but if she had done that, the police would have footage of that scammer.

    Also, how many people have made transactions in public, and then on their way back were mugged? Suspicious people tend to not want to meet at a police station while the legit people do not care

  • Miles Backman

    You missed the whole scam. Plastic is new, no plastic is used, can’t open till you buy..

  • Arman

    Really? Good to know..

  • BigCat

    Well, I have no desire to laugh at a picture of Renee Duckworth.

    In some strange way, I do pity the scammer. It’s hard to imagine getting to the point were you are steeling money from somebody’s Mom or Grandmother in a parking lot.

    Truly this is the very definition of a bottom feeder. All for just $800.

  • dmrs769

    What the heck is wrong with you? I’d never walk into a police station to sell a phone, even thought I know its mine and everything is legit. Also, I don’t care if your product is sealed or not, I am opening it up and testing the phone before you receive a penny of my cash. I can buy a resealing machine on ebay for $20 and sell a piece of brick inside the box, and it will be nicely sealed. Catch my drift? Also, this is exactly how she got burned. She never once saw or tested what she was buying, which she clearly should have. Chinese fakes, sealed in box, cost cheap, this is how these scammers make money.

  • Arman

    This is really sick. But buying phones on Kijiji is really tricky. Even if the phone is legitimate you risk getting a legitimate phone that can be blacklisted later on if the guy is a real crook.

    1. Scammers open accounts with fake IDs get a phone and sell it immediately, the carrier finds out and blocks the phone, it becomes useless in North America as all carriers in North America have an agreement for this blacklisting database.

    2. They get the phone with insurance from carrier, sell you the phone, go back and claim it was lost or stolen, they get a replacement from carrier and the old phone that they sold you will get blacklisted even after a few months and the police wont do anything about it even if you have the original receipt.

    Simply don’t buy carrier phones, not worth the risk.

  • dmrs769

    Precisely. “please take your time and check the phone thoroughly to make sure everything is working and test it with your own sim card inside”.

  • Anaron

    Lolwut. I’ve been buying/selling on craigslist and Kijiji for nearly 10 years now. And not once has a person refused to let me open the item and inspect it. I show them that I brought the money for it and I ask politely if I can take a look at it to inspect it before buying and they always agree. If the item is as described and functional, then I hand over the cash. I’d never buy something from someone that refuses to let me open the item.

  • Anaron

    That’s weird to me. I always show the cash, count it in front of them, and politely ask that I break the seal in order to do a final inspection of the item. If it’s as described, then I hand over the money. I get that there’s a chance that the buyer will change their mind and that will undoubtedly affect the resale value. In my case, I assure the seller that I will not change my mind. No one has ever had an issue with that in the ~10 years that I’ve been buying/selling on craigslist and Kijiji.

  • Anaron

    Wouldn’t meeting at a public place ease your concerns? Also, simply owning an iPhone doesn’t necessarily mean the other person is less likely to steal from you. It just means they happen to have an iPhone. They could also use burner numbers to text from with texting apps for iOS. I know someone that does it because she doesn’t want a stranger having her personal number. I always use my personal number out of convenience and I haven’t had any issues.

  • Anaron

    I’ve had to instruct a few people on how to properly check a phone. I’ve been hit with “Oh, I trust you.” And I usually respond with, “Don’t trust me. Verify it yourself. You’re spending hundreds of dollars so you should make sure you’re getting what you think you’re getting.”

  • Anaron

    You can feel bad for them and also blame them for not being diligent enough to inspect what they’re buying. It’s easily avoidable.

  • Sidney

    There are people like that. I remember when I sold my iPhone 6S Plus for 1K some time ago the girl who bought it didn’t even open the box, she just gave me the money and left.

  • Root

    I do the usual checks on the phone plus I always print a copy of the Kijiji ad that includes the phone# and seller of the ad. I ask that they show id and sign the printed copy of the ad as a bill of sale. I know this may not phase a true professional con man, but it will expose most petty thieves and cons. It also helps protect you if the item turns out to be stolen.

  • Olivier

    Makes no sense

  • Ron

    With identity theft so high now-a-days, nobody is going to show you their ID, even legit sellers.

    Best way to identify a fake iPhone is to insert your sim and turn it on. Apple logo won’t be displayed if it’s fake, and various settings in iOS won’t appear. It will be very appearent that it is fake right from the get go.

  • Ron

    You probably never sold any or many iPhones on Kijjji or Craig’s. I’ve had 2 people out of 5 iPhone sales that refused to pay after opening the box. They both showed they had the cash beforehand and were adamant on buying, but once opened they decided they “just wanted to look at it” lol. One of them even dropped the iPhone when opening it, luckily it fell on my carpet. In the end, it ended up reducing the value about $100 or so on each iPhone.

    I now demand that I hold the cash before opening, and the person can open the box and inspect. If it’s not what is advertised, I give money back – but that has never happened yet. Way too many flakes on these sites that try to screw over sellers.

  • Riley Freeman

    but texting apps dont allow imessage (to the best of my knowledge) which means they are using their personal number and therefore easier to to track.

    i meet in public all the time though

  • Anaron

    The iPhone 7 Plus I have now is my first iPhone so every phone I’ve sold in the past has been an Android device. I’ve sold a few brand new in box items without any issues and it’s incredibly unfortunate that you had to deal with “toddlers”. What’s their thought process? “I’m gonna lie to this person just so I can take a peak at a brand new iPhone”?

  • Anaron

    It won’t work. iMessage only works with a phone number that’s activated on an iPhone. Anyway, it’s not something I worry about because I’m still going to meet the person in public and inspect the item or have them inspect it. I’ve read about people being robbed and it usually happens when they meet in non-public areas.

  • mcfilmmakers

    It is quite clear and makes perfect sense

  • Read the comments above yours.

  • Yes Oliver, because when you have to fly out of the province unexpectedly, your first thought you have is “Oh, I gotta take that iPhone back with me where I’m flying so I can return it on time”‘…

  • You know, the simple I think I do with sealed boxes (in the moment I’m buying) is to say to the seller “I’m happy with the product and will buy it – I want to open the box to ensure it’s legit and then I’ll pay you”. If the seller balks at that, I’ll walk away.

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