Stop buying Apple products from random people on the street — seriously

iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro (Image credit: Karen Freeman / iMore)

If a random stranger came up to you offering to sell you a brand new iPhone 11, would you consider buying it from them? If you said no, then congratulations to you, win! What's your prize? Not being scammed by a con artist.

I know it seems rather straightforward, by two —yes, two — people have been duped into buying lemonade for hundreds of dollars (pounds, technically) in the UK by someone offering to sell them Apple products.

To be fair, the latest victim, Dylan Obeegadoo, was shown real Apple products before he handed over the cash; here's his version of the events:

"Dylan Obeegadoo told Black Country Live that two fraudsters, James and Frankie, approached him in a Churchill Shopping Centre in Dudley on Thursday, March 5, and offered the expensive products. After examining the two electrical items, which were real, he handed to the cash machine to withdraw £500 and met the duo outside their car. But the Dylan said the con artists managed to switch the bags during a convincing scam and said he was left with two bottles of fizzy pop and a cardboard box."

Yikes! Look, part of this story is a little funny and offers a bit of that delicious schadenfreude, but you have to remember that scammers and con artists a good at what they do. We've all heard horror stories of a friend or relative who has been swindled by a tax scam, or a lottery scam, or some other con, and the catching scammers can be pretty tricky for the police or other authorities to deal with. It's a real problem, and real people are getting taken advantage of, and that's not funny.

What can you do?

The answer is pretty simple, make sure you're buying your Apple products from reputable retailers and not people off the street — especially if they are new.

If you are going to buy a used iPhone or other Apple products, make sure you do everything you can to protect yourself. Inspect the product thoroughly before purchasing, ask for receipts, check the boxes before you hand over the cash, and most importantly if a deal seems too good to be true, there's a reason, so trust your instincts.

5 Important Considerations When Buying a Used iPhone

Don't get caught in an unfortunate situation and be stuck with bottles of lemonade you paid hundreds of dollars for, no deal is worth getting scammed.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.