My stimulus money had just arrived and I was scanning Craigslist under cell phones since I’ve been contemplating upgrading my iPhone.
I see an ad for an iPhone 12 Pro Max 128 storage for $570. This is a great deal; new, they are twice that and the phone has only been out since November.
I think to myself this must be a typo or a scam. I decided to respond with a note that I’m very interested please call me if still available.
7:30 p.m. the guy calls and says he’s willing to deliver and help this old guy with the transfer of the sim card and transferring my apps onto the new iPhone from my current iPhone. Since he was helping me, I was at his mercy for when was convenient for him. He wanted to come over that evening, although I am not a night person. He got over around 9:00 p.m., a time I am usually getting ready for bed.
I was a little nervous about a stranger coming over, however, I figured, the guy is willing to do me a favor, he came over and we struck it off. We talked story and seemed to know a few mutual acquaintances and had a few laughs all while this man who looked in his late 20s transferred my sim card to the iPhone 12.
The downloading completed after approximately an hour and a prompt came up on the iPhone 12, which said, “try again.” We kept hitting the prompt on the screen that said, ‘Try again.”
At this point, it was around 10:45 p.m., and Nick, the name the guy gave me, said he used to work at the cell phone kiosk at Costco and needed to call apple support, however, they would not open until 2 a.m. Hawaiian time. He was smooth and said he could stay at my place but knew I was tired, so said he could take the phone home with him and call Apple support from home and come back to me the next day. He gave me back my sim card and put it back in my iPhone 10.
I told Nick, I really want this phone, especially for the camera. How do I know you will come back and sell it to me? He said I could give him a $300 deposit. I said I was thinking more in the lines of $100? On that note, he said that’s OK, and said, “I’ll just be back in the morning,” and left.
After he left, I felt wow, nice guy, he didn’t even take a deposit.
The next day, I hadn’t heard from him therefore I texted him and with no response, I texted him again, “Any news?” He texted back, “Hi sorry not yet, been on the phone most of the day.”
The following day I text him, “Good morning Nick, were you able to get in touch with apple support? Hoping to complete the sale of the iPhone-12. Let me know what’s happening?” “Nick, Can you call me?”
Nick responds: “OK, I will after work.”
Eight hours later I text back to him, “What’s up, do you still want to sell the phone?”
I try calling, I get the sorry this number is not a working number message. I redial two additional times to make sure I dialed the correct number.
I realized I’ve been compromised, hacked, bamboozled. I get anxious and start freaking out that this guy must have taken off with all my apps when he was pretending to help me transfer everything and acted like the transfer didn’t work. I believe it actually somehow worked and he must have stolen my identity onto some sort of iCloud?
The next day I called the police. I spoke with Officer Kerry, for over an hour he was very informative about cybercrimes being prevalent amongst seniors and praised me for being vigilant. He advised me to cancel my debit card, so nothing could be backdoored through any app connected to it.
I also called Apple support and they walked me through changing my Apple password and passcodes.
I changed all my passwords on all my accounts online.
This con who came to my place befriended me and was full of aloha.
I felt embarrassed this happened to me and wasn’t going to go public, however, the public needs to beware. Crime is much different these days. Your life, your identity, your money all can be gone with the click of the mouse or touching the screen of a smartphone without even leaving your home.
If anybody gets anything from me online that is insulting, it ain’t me. I’ve been compromised!
When you think it can’t happen to you, it can. An anonymous quote says it all:
“Don’t trust everything you see. Even salt looks like sugar.”
James “Kimo” Rosen lives in Kapa‘a with his dog and blogs as a hobby at dakinetalk.blogspot.com.