TIP: Check if a phone is fake or not

guitarist28

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Jul 30, 2008
Messages
109
Hi guys,

A number of people have asked how they can check if that used phone they're interested in buying is the real deal or not.

So, herewith some pointers for those interested. It's not 100% foolproof, but may just reveal some things:

1. Always ask the seller for the IMEI number of the phone. This can be obtained from 3 places: On the original box, a sticker below the battery, or by dialing *#06# . A good idea may also be to ask the seller to send you a clear picture of the sticker below the battery containing the IMEI number.

2. Click over to http://www.imei.info/ and submit the supplied IMEI number (without dashes or slashes). It should bring up the details of the handset make, model and specs associated with that IMEI number.

If the seller is selling a Samsung, but the above check's result reflects as something else, smell a rat!

The site also has a mobile app that acts as a barcode scanner for IMEI barcodes. Very handy.

3. If everything checks out and you decide to pull the trigger, verify the IMEI details you've received against the info on the physical handset you intend on buying again before handing over the cash.

Thats it.

Another option is to meet the seller at one of the many cell provider stores and ask them to check the phone for authenticity. Anyone selling a fake would not dare take that risk.

Some other things to look out for in general:
* If the pictures in the ad show the phone's box without stickers on it, chances are very high it's a fake. The IMEI stickers are stuck on the outside of the boxes, often used as security seals.
* Take your time with the purchase. Dont rush. If anything appears to be "off", move on.
* If a friend has a similar phone, ask to have a proper look at it. Look at finishes, screen quality, the way the phone is constructed and branding applied.. It's a standard. Fakes often have small "tells" that's not easy to pick up if you're not familiar with the devices.
* When you go to do the deal, double check spellings of brand names on stickers etc.

If anyone has more pointers, feel free to add...
 
Last edited:

Avenue

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Aug 10, 2007
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4,352
Isn't it possible for the fongkongs just to use a single legit IMEI number on all their models, kind of like a pirated version software using a single activation code?
 

guitarist28

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Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
109
Isn't it possible for the fongkongs just to use a single legit IMEI number on all their models, kind of like a pirated version software using a single activation code?

The fake phones I've seen, dont. But I guess the cons will catch on. Seen ones where IMEI checks on a Samsung shows Blackberry etc. Just a method to check at least.

Another option is to meet the seller at one of the many cell provider stores and ask them to check the phone for authenticity. Anyone selling a fake would not dare take that risk I'm sure.
 

SYNERGISED

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
16
Hi guys,

A number of people have asked how they can check if that used phone they're interested in buying is the real deal or not.

So, herewith some pointers for those interested:

1. Always ask the seller for the IMEI number of the phone. This can be obtained from 3 places: On the original box, a sticker below the battery, or by dialing *#06# . A good idea may also be to ask the seller to send you a clear picture of the sticker below the battery containing the IMEI number.

2. Click over to http://www.imei.info/ and submit the supplied IMEI number (without dashes or slashes). It should bring up the details of the handset make, model and specs associated with that IMEI number.

If the seller is selling a Samsung, but the above check's result reflects as something else, smell a rat!

The site also has a mobile app that acts as a barcode scanner for IMEI barcodes. Very handy.

3. If everything checks out and you decide to pull the trigger, verify the IMEI details you've received against the info on the physical handset you intend on buying again before handing over the cash.

Thats it.

I recently checked the IMEI number on a fake S4. Showed all the original details.
 

guitarist28

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
109
Yeah - I was shocked myself. Guess it's easy to spoof IMEI numbers these days...

Guess the only real tip then is: Dont buy seconhand...

But I have to say, looking around the classifieds sites there's a ton of fake phones doing the rounds.
 

plummet

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Aug 20, 2008
Messages
364
yes my cousin bought a fake s4 as well.. imei checked out fine... even the box and all accessories looked original... there are differences though.. screen quality, lag, camera quality... i also put it next to an original s4 and noticed that the actual screen is a few inches smaller..
 

GreyBush

Executive Member
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Apr 28, 2010
Messages
6,380
yes my cousin bought a fake s4 as well.. imei checked out fine... even the box and all accessories looked original... there are differences though.. screen quality, lag, camera quality... i also put it next to an original s4 and noticed that the actual screen is a few inches smaller..

... inches you say?
 

Gulio

Banned
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Nov 7, 2013
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1,023
How are you duped by a fake phone?
They look so similar to the original.
 

Avenue

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Aug 10, 2007
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Wow...ok. Guess that eliminates the need for my post completely then...buggers are getting smart.

its just another useful test- one more thing you can try.
yes my cousin bought a fake s4 as well.. imei checked out fine... even the box and all accessories looked original... there are differences though.. screen quality, lag, camera quality... i also put it next to an original s4 and noticed that the actual screen is a few inches smaller..

If that's the case then a good test would be to download and install a good benchmark/hardware indicator app.

Yeah someone I know bought an S4 in taiwan and came away with a fake. It's still a pretty good phone though, but it's certainly not an S4
 

ahoudet

Expert Member
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Nov 21, 2013
Messages
4,503
A benchmark app does a good job to check. Another thing would be to look out for the ICASA sticker
 

falcon786

Honorary Master
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
10,254
screen quality, lag, camera quality...

This is the easiest way to check,if you are unfamiliar with that particular phone then try to get someone with that phone to come along so you can compare.The screen quality and camera quality are the easiest give aways.
 
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