Beware of Apple iPhone scammers!

James Ryan Jonas

Those turned off by the expensive prices of the Apple iPhone might be tempted to get one from black markets or online stores selling jailbroken versions of this newly-released (and may we add, hyped) phone.

But beware, because scammers who prey on people looking for cheap iPhones also abound.

Art Vasquez in a comment on the article Where to buy cheap Apple iPhones in the Philippines narrated how he got scammed by a scammer seller in a popular Filipino auction site.

I browsed several sites regarding iPhone 3G and came across this site which led me to where an iphone 3g is selling for Php29,000 for the 16GB.

I texted the seller and arranged to buy one. I had all the hesitation to buy when I was told I will need to send the payment first before the item is shipped to me. I asked several questions regarding the safetly of my money from the seller. I was told I can deposit my payment with BPI bank and that they couldn’t be a fly-by-night operation or a scam because having a bank account means that legal documents must be presented to open a bank account. With this in mind, I made the payment deposit. I was told I would get my iphone 3g the next day before 11am.

I guess you know the conclusion to this story. The next day came and went and no iphone. I called the same cell number but it’s turned off but if you text it or call it with a different number it responds to your inquiry to buy.

There you go. I hope you wont make the same mistake as I do.

If the BPI account where the payment was deposited was indeed the scammer’s account, Art can still go after the scammer if he can secure a court order instructing BPI to divulge the details of the account holder. Banks normally won’t release any information about an account because they are bound by the Bank Secrecy Law. But if there is a court order, BPI has no choice but to make public the account holder’s information.

Scammers assume that victims usually won’t take the time to run after them that’s why these scammers have the gall to commit such wrongdoings. If you were a victim, insist on going after them so that they eventually are put to jail.

If you have not encountered these scumbags yet, make sure you won’t become a victim just because you were lured by the iPhone.

See also: Cheap prices, subscription plans of iPhone and iPad in the Philippines

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.