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Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: DavidS
Date: March 23, 2012 11:45AM
Everyone always says to be careful about buying and selling on Craigslist. Always accept cash only and meet in a public place. I've been doing this for years with no problems. I've sold $10 items up to a $14,000 minivan. Unfortunately, last weekend I got burned.

I had 2 new iPads delivered last Friday. I listed one for sale on eBay and Craigslist. I got a call and met the buyer outside the entrance to a nearby Best Buy. He paid cash, a stack of $50.

I went to the bank on Wednesday to deposit the money and found out that all the money was counterfeit. Their money counting machine rejected all the bills as suspect. The clerk and manager said that it was one of the best forgeries they've seen (some consolation). Real money that had been "washed" and reprinted. Even had the security stripe and watermarks, though she pointed out some things that looked "off."

Obviously, the money was confiscated and sent to Secret Service to investigate. I completed an official police report. I gave the police the persons name and cell phone number, but doubt anything will come of it. Hopefully the Secret Service will take an interest since it was a large stack of $50 bills.

I've been tempted to call the guy who bought it, but figure he'd probably just laugh at me. I'm so pissed, especially at myself for dealing with a highly desirable, high-ticket item on Craigslist. I should have stuck with eBay/PayPal, were there are some protections built in. Oh well, live and learn.

I have the serial number from the order and wonder if Apple put it on file as stolen. I wonder if the iPad can be tracked by Apple if/when it is registered. I may just call AppleCare to find out. I can also add it to the police report in case something turns up.

Edit - I originally did not have the serial number, but found it on the order invoice. Need to call Apple now.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2012 12:35PM by DavidS.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 23, 2012 11:47AM
wow, sucks. Sorry to hear this
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 23, 2012 11:48AM
Call him and tell him you have another iPad to sell and does he want it...
Then show up with the police.
Or with 3 good friends with baseball bats. (kidding about that part... unless it's three good friends with bats, firearms, and badges who are off duty...).



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: LaserKun
Date: March 23, 2012 11:51AM
Wow! Sorry for your loss. I guess in that case, the only preventive would have been to use the iPad first, turn on "Find my iPad" feature, the track the rascal that way. Reminds me, if I ever sell an iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, I will leave it on with all my data wiped, and just use the Find My... feature until money is good - tell the buyer what I am doing, then wipe it so he can set it up for his own use. I hope they catch the bum!
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: bhaveshp
Date: March 23, 2012 11:56AM
Oh man that sucks!

As one who has sold iPhones & iPads on Craigslist every year as a means to upgrade, this worries me. I'll be reconsidering ebay for future sales.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: Black
Date: March 23, 2012 12:07PM
Quote
DavidS
Everyone always says to be careful about buying and selling on Craigslist. Always accept cash only and meet in a public place. I've been doing this for years with no problems. I've sold $10 items up to a $14,000 minivan. Unfortunately, last weekend I got burned.

I had 2 new iPads delivered last Friday. I listed one for sale on eBay and Craigslist. I got a call and met the buyer outside the entrance to a nearby Best Buy. He paid cash, a stack of $50.

I went to the bank on Wednesday to deposit the money and found out that all the money was counterfit. Their money counting machine rejected all the bills as suspect. The clerk and manager said that it was one of the best forgeries they've seen (some consolation). Real money that had been "washed" and reprinted. Even had the security stripe and watermarks, though she pointed out some things that looked "off."

Obviously, the money was confiscated and sent to Secret Service to investigate. I completed an official police report. I gave the police the persons name and cell phone number, but doubt anything will come of it. Hopefully the Secret Service will take an interest since it was a large stack of $50 bills.

I've been tempted to call the guy who bought it, but figure he'd probably just laugh at me. I'm so pissed, especially at myself for dealing with a highly desirable, high-ticket item on Craigslist. I should have stuck with eBay/PayPal, were there are some protections built in. Oh well, live and learn.

I have the serial number from the order and wonder if Apple put it on file as stolen. I wonder if the iPad can be tracked by Apple if/when it is registered. I may just call AppleCare to find out. I can also add it to the police report in case something turns up.

Edit - I originally did not have the serial number, but found it on the order invoice. Need to call Apple now.
Sorry this happened to you.
Confused-- you bought new iPads and then turned around and sold them? Or sold your lod iPad?
You'd think a Best Buy parking lot would be saturated with cameras-- no help from store security?




MR/F Guestmap: [www.mapservices.org]
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: mattkime
Date: March 23, 2012 12:08PM
this happened to a friend of mine recently that sold his laptop. $100 bills. speculation that it was N. Korean counterfeits.

I think you were selling a boxed item but in the future i'd be tempted to install some sort of tracking software on the device just in case this happened.





VTPKL it!
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: March 23, 2012 12:20PM
I had a guy use one of these on me to check if I was giving him funny money.

Maybe this could've helped in your situation?

Regardless, very sorry this happened to you but thank you for posting so the rest of us can learn from your unfortunate experience.





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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: DavidS
Date: March 23, 2012 12:24PM
Item was a new (3rd Gen) iPad that I ordered on the day of the announcement. It was still sealed, since I could fetch a better price than an opened/used product.

The last Apple product I sold was my iPhone 4. The woman who bought it seemed kinda sketchy, but I knew where she hung out (i.e. here). ;)

I just called AppleCare. On the recording, they state that they have no way to track or deal with stolen merchandise and suggested calling local law enforcement.

Edit: Pinkoos - since the money was on real money paper, the counterfeit pen that the bank used worked fine.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2012 12:25PM by DavidS.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: March 23, 2012 12:33PM
Curious, did the guy attempt to negotiate down your asking price at all?

If he didn't, maybe that can be considered a red flag for the future?

At least for me, I'd be wary of anybody who accepts my asking price without even attempting to talk me down.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: DavidS
Date: March 23, 2012 12:37PM
Quote
pinkoos
Curious, did the guy attempt to negotiate down your asking price at all?

If he didn't, maybe that can be considered a red flag for the future?

At least for me, I'd be wary of anybody who accepts my asking price without even attempting to talk me down.

He did, and I came down $50.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: March 23, 2012 12:38PM
Quote
DavidS
Quote
pinkoos
Curious, did the guy attempt to negotiate down your asking price at all?

If he didn't, maybe that can be considered a red flag for the future?

At least for me, I'd be wary of anybody who accepts my asking price without even attempting to talk me down.

He did, and I came down $50.

Okay. Guess my theory is blown out of the water!
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: $tevie
Date: March 23, 2012 12:49PM
Not meant to be argumentative or sarcastic. I really would like to know, what's the point of "flipping" iPads? I don't get it.



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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: March 23, 2012 12:51PM
Quote
$tevie
Not meant to be argumentative or sarcastic. I really would like to know, what's the point of "flipping" iPads? I don't get it.


To make money... I thought it was fairly straightforward.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 23, 2012 12:53PM
Quote
$tevie
Not meant to be argumentative or sarcastic. I really would like to know, what's the point of "flipping" iPads? I don't get it.

make a little profit? I bought 2 HP touchpads for $150+tax and sold them for 240 and 260 each. YMMV
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: $tevie
Date: March 23, 2012 12:57PM
Who buys a iPad in a parking lot for more money than it would cost to buy one from a store? I wouldn't buy one, that's for sure, I'd figure it was hot. That guy probably figured you couldn't report him because you were selling stolen goods.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2012 12:58PM by $tevie.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: Gareth
Date: March 23, 2012 01:07PM
Quote
pinkoos
I had a guy use one of these on me to check if I was giving him funny money.


I have one of these pens. I wonder if it would have helped DavidS though. I.e. if the pen reacts to the paper or the ink, since the bank said the bills were printed on real paper (i.e. washed $1 bills).
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: JoeH
Date: March 23, 2012 01:12PM
I would have checked the security stripe, it say "$50" on a real bill. In my area 50's are much less common than 100's, so would have been suspect from the beginning. People around here get 20's or 100's at the bank, almost no one uses 50's.

The pens are worthless. They can be fooled by a number of papers besides using washed bills that have been reprinted with a bogus higher denomination.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: Wags
Date: March 23, 2012 02:04PM
Best way to check for a counterfeit is run your fingernail across the portrait. Should feel a little bumpy. Real bills are printed with the Intaglio process that raises the ink of the paper. The fakes had the color shifting denomination mark, too? We've been getting a rash of counterfeit $50's here as well. That sucks.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: PizzaGod
Date: March 23, 2012 02:06PM
Quote
pinkoos
I had a guy use one of these on me to check if I was giving him funny money.

Maybe this could've helped in your situation?

Regardless, very sorry this happened to you but thank you for posting so the rest of us can learn from your unfortunate experience.


We've used those on the carnival, and they can be fooled too. My answer-was to stop taking anything over a $20. Yeah, I can still get burned but at least it limits my loss. Selling a big ticket item like an iPad or Laptop? I am thinking PayPal for me!
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: March 23, 2012 02:07PM
Wow, and bummer. I expect the Secret Service will be more interested in the cash than anything else. They LOVE to go after counterfeiters.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: March 23, 2012 02:15PM
Quote
pinkoos
Quote
DavidS
Quote
pinkoos
Curious, did the guy attempt to negotiate down your asking price at all?

If he didn't, maybe that can be considered a red flag for the future?

At least for me, I'd be wary of anybody who accepts my asking price without even attempting to talk me down.

He did, and I came down $50.

Okay. Guess my theory is blown out of the water!

No, ur theory is still valid for most scenarios (I.e. average thief). The fact that this guy used 'washed' money tells me he's somewhat of a professional. Therefore, he would lull u into complacency by using the negotiation tactic to get u to think he was a legit buyer.

If I were u I'd be tempted to place another ad for an iPad (different ad style), and then when I think the same perp responds (this time don't come down on price during negotiations...so legit buyers will bypass u) and have the police standing by.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: rgG
Date: March 23, 2012 02:20PM
Hey, I resent that remark about being sketchy!!!! grinning smiley

So sorry to hear that you got ripped off. You might check with the credit card you bought the iPad with and see if they would consider this as theft and cover the loss. Just a thought.





Alpharetta, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 23, 2012 02:24PM
No, ur theory is still valid for most scenarios (I.e. average thief). The fact that this guy used 'washed' money tells me he's somewhat of a professional. Therefore, he would lull u into complacency by using the negotiation tactic to get u to think he was a legit buyer.

Also it take some effort to make these really good fake bills, so let's say he and his team managed to make 100 bills, why would they give them away freely without negotiating the price? negotiating it makes them seem more legit and allows them to buy more iPads (screw over more honest people). This is sad all around.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: March 23, 2012 02:48PM
Good point space...
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: thermarest
Date: March 23, 2012 03:50PM
I've been worried about this, but I guess haven't been burned yet. I sold an mbp for $1300 recently. Who knows, though, I usually don't deposit the cash, I just use it...in fact still have a lot of those bills come to think of it.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: March 23, 2012 04:30PM
Quote
pinkoos
I had a guy use one of these on me to check if I was giving him funny money.

Maybe this could've helped in your situation?

Regardless, very sorry this happened to you but thank you for posting so the rest of us can learn from your unfortunate experience.


I agree. We sold large Garden Tractor many years ago online for like $4800 and the guy that picked it up
was paying cash, we had purchased a bill marking pen ahead of time.

I hate to see something like this happen, it sucks no doubt.



Grateful11
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: olnacl
Date: March 23, 2012 05:13PM
I guess the next logical step for big ticket items is to meet the guy/girl at your bank and have him/her hand the bills to the teller along with your deposit slip.
Or have him/her buy a cashiers check in your presence (I'd offer to pay the charge for issuing the check).
I wonder if that would work with buying a postal money order as well? (Again, in your presence)
I'm sure crooks would not try to pass bogus bills under any of those conditions although I suppose the bank could still try to go after you if they discovered later that the bills were bogus.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: ADent
Date: March 23, 2012 06:03PM
Guess you should have spent the money at Walmart or such.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: Panopticon
Date: March 23, 2012 09:27PM
Quote
JoeH
I would have checked the security stripe, it say "$50" on a real bill. In my area 50's are much less common than 100's, so would have been suspect from the beginning. People around here get 20's or 100's at the bank, almost no one uses 50's.

The pens are worthless. They can be fooled by a number of papers besides using washed bills that have been reprinted with a bogus higher denomination.
agree smiley
The 'pen' is nothing but a wick soaked in an ammonia based fluid.

Checking the security strip with a UV source is your best bet.
The strip is repeatedly printed with USA 50 and glows red under UV.
If it glows any other color, it's a fake!
Get a Pocket UV light for only $3 @ AllElectronics










Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2012 09:35PM by Panopticon.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: decay
Date: March 23, 2012 10:27PM
[www.newmoney.gov]

[www.cnbc.com]

By holding a new series bill up to a light, the watermark becomes visible in an unprinted space to the right of the portrait. The watermark can be seen from both sides of the bill since it is not printed on the bill but is embedded in the paper.

Counterfeit bills sometimes attempt to duplicate this watermark, but they rarely look like the portrait they are supposed to represent. And counterfeits that use bleached, smaller denominations as the basis of the note will show a watermark that does not match the portrait. For example, if a $5 bill was bleached and reprinted to look like a $100 bill, the note will have Benjamin Franklin's portrait, but the watermark will clearly show Abraham Lincoln's face.




Like the watermark, the security thread can also be seen by holding the bill up to a light. This thin embedded strip runs from top to bottom on the face of a banknote.

In the $10 and $50 bills, the security strip is located to the right of the portrait, and in the $5, $20, and $100, it is located just to the left of the portrait.

Microprinting is used to write USA 50 on the $50 bill pictured. Each denomination has its value printed similarly.




While some high-quality counterfeits might have a well-faked security thread, there's still a simple way to spot whether the bill is genuine. If an authentic bill is held up to an ultraviolet light, the security thread glows.

The $5 bill glows blue, the $10 bill glows orange, the $20 bill glows green, the $50 bill glows yellow, and the $100 bill glows red.





[www.giyf.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2012 10:27PM by decay.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: Racer X
Date: March 23, 2012 11:06PM
Quote
pinkoos
I had a guy use one of these on me to check if I was giving him funny money.

Maybe this could've helped in your situation?

Regardless, very sorry this happened to you but thank you for posting so the rest of us can learn from your unfortunate experience.


they probably would have checked out OK. The paper was real.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: Panopticon
Date: March 24, 2012 09:15AM
Quote
decay
...the $50 bill glows yellow, and the $100 bill glows red.

doh, I stand corrected. Eyes read yellow but brain shouted red moody smiley
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: billb
Date: March 24, 2012 09:25AM
Quote
pinkoos
I had a guy use one of these on me to check if I was giving him funny money.

Maybe this could've helped in your situation?

Regardless, very sorry this happened to you but thank you for posting so the rest of us can learn from your unfortunate experience.


Just about every store uses a pen tester on twenties and up around here.
They're not looking for professional counterfeiters, they're looking for the clown down the street with a color copier.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: March 24, 2012 11:07AM
The pens very unreliable.

JoeH and Pano are spot on.

And I'd check out the parking lot of your local police department. Look for a spot with camera coverage.

If you do this sort of thing regularly, get a case that will hold a 'Phone so the camera will casually video the transaction. Or you could do it in a bank, verifying the cash before the sale.

The UV light needs to be part of your kit.

I'm really sorry to hear about this, David.

There is another aspect to this thing- and that is the person who's doing the defrauding. It's possible that they could be dangerous, and you might be vulnerable while checking out the moolah. Another reason I vote for the PD/SO parking lot or inside a bank.

No guarantees but you want as many cards in your favor as possible.



You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

There is no safety for honest men
except by believing all possible evil
of evil men.

Pixels were born to be punished. -Frederick Van Johnson

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* Sigs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: March 24, 2012 12:38PM
Especially with a real good counterfeit (if u recognize it as such), the individual is most likely linked to some kind of organized crime, and therefore could be very dangerous in that they're a 'professional' and know what tgey're doing.

While coming across this caliber of individual may be rare (I've also sold a lot on CL many of which were high value, sought after items), it's a very real possibility. This thread gives me a wake up call.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: fauch
Date: March 24, 2012 02:17PM
Lesson learned, stay away from banks!!!
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 24, 2012 02:36PM
Quote
fauch
Lesson learned, stay away from banks!!!

LOL... somewhat true, he could have spent the money someplace else and never knew he had counterfeit currency.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: GGD
Date: March 24, 2012 04:00PM
Quote
space-time
Quote
fauch
Lesson learned, stay away from banks!!!

LOL... somewhat true, he could have spent the money someplace else and never knew he had counterfeit currency.

If just a few, rather than all of the bills had been fake, then one might think that the buyer might not have known either.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: MacDoxy
Date: March 24, 2012 08:18PM
LUCKY you went to the bank first or YOU would've been the counterfeiter
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: decay
Date: March 25, 2012 08:26AM
there's something here for all of us to learn & take away for the future.

i like the idea of a public place with security cameras, as much as i'm against their gradual placement everywhere...

edited for the logo on the side of the cam







[www.giyf.com]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/2012 08:27AM by decay.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: Speedy
Date: March 26, 2012 01:45AM
The guy is probably listing the iPad for resale on a Craigslist near one of us. Post the serial number.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Craigslist sale gone bad
Posted by: DavidS
Date: March 26, 2012 01:05PM
Serial number DLXH51UFDVGH
32 GB, Black, AT&T 4G model
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