This should be common sense now, but just be warned. There are some pretty convincing fake devices floating around that you can get burned on.

When you are buying a device off of something like Craigslist, make sure to do your homework before you get out there and get scammed. There are some pretty simple ways to protect yourself from fake devices.

When buying a used used device or even a new device from a third party vendor, look up the phone that you are planning on purchasing. The will be plenty of images floating around that show you what the real device looks like.

Keep this photo fresh in mind, or even carry on with you when doing a face to face deal. It never hurts to play it safe. There will be differences between the devices. Pay special attention to the box (if included) to make sure that it has all of the proper markings as well as the pre-installed apps and the settings, particularly the about section.

Those three points will help make it pretty clear wither or not you are purchasing the genuine product.

There is nothing worse than spending the full $600+ for a fake device that will be slow and almost unusable. Worse than that, there could be malware on the device that can potentially steal your information!

It is important to protect yourself and take the proper precautions when buying phones, or anything really, from a third party seller. It doesn’t matter how official the seller looks, there is always the possibility that they aren’t selling the real thing.

This can happen to anyone. Here is a video published by a techie like myself who got scammed on Craigslist.

While you need to be careful when not buying from a reputable seller, there is no reason for you to shy away from buying a device from a third party seller.

There are different ways that you can protect yourself. One such way is to use a site that I personally use quite often, Swappa.

I was able to interview Ben, the founder and coder of Swappa, back in November of last year. All the information there is still relevant today and could help you make a good purchase.

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  1. Thanks for that. I’ve been looking for a phone on Craigslist and noticed a ton of people selling fake S4’s but not saying that they are fake. You can usually tell right away by the low price. The other thing to check is the Easter Egg of the phone. It will be way different than the Legit phone. I was ready to buy an S5 from someone on Craigslist but just before I bought it, it was black listed. I’ve given up with the scammers on Craigslist and will buy my next phone new.

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