KFOX14 Investigates: Fake iPhone’s for sale

(Credit: KFOX14/CBS4)

Fake iPhones are now being sold on the streets across the country.

As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

A man on the street offering to sell an iPhone 7 plus for $250, when they normally retail for $700, it's likely a scam. But its a scam people are falling for.

Christmas came early for Jasmine Sanchez.

"He came home and he told me he got me an iPhone and I was happy. I was screaming and crying,” said Sanchez.

Her grandfather surprised her with a gold iPhone.

"I’d been wanting an iPhone," said Sanchez.

That joy was short-lived.

"I turned it on and it was fake," said Sanchez,

A fake iPhone 7 plus. What's more, her grandfather also bought two others from a man on the street.

"He thought he was buying a real one,” said Sanchez.

"If it sounds too good to be true it probably is,” said Jonathon Bachant with "Supreme iPhone Repair.” He sees at least one fake iPhone a month.

"The seller's not gonna answer you and give you your money back. They knew what they were doing. Very, very rarely does somebody not know that it's fake when they're selling it. It's sad,” said Bachant.

With the holidays less than a month away, it’s only a matter of time before others get scammed.

So, here's what he says you need to look out for:

The writing should be on the box and not a label.

It should be in grayscale, and not black.

Typos are also a giveaway.

Look beyond the surface.

"The flash, the cameras. The flash is really clear, you want to look for a haze. The camera, also they're gonna be more flat than beveled in. The operating system once you get into the phone, you can tell things don't look right. They're not as bold, not as sharp. It's a lot slower,” said Bachant.

He said the parts aren’t even real Apple parts.

"We don't have access to the parts. They don't make replacement parts for the fake ones. Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do with them."

Even so, Jasmine says she's not ungrateful.

"I’m staying with it,” said Sanchez.

Some of the apps work, using the Android operating system.

“It lets me go on Instagram and Snapchat but it lags a lot."

Other apps, are a no-go.

Lesson learned?

"Don't buy things from strangers in the street,” said Sanchez.

As tempting as the savings, may be.

If someone offers to sell you a used cellphone, you should also be cautious.

Ask to meet the seller at a retail establishment, or at a shop that specializes in iPhones to be sure it's not locked or stolen.

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