Consumer Alert: Beware of fake iPhones - CBS46 News

Consumer Alert: Beware of fake iPhones

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

Beware of smartphones that look and feel just like the real thing. Experts say they are so similar to real phones that even repair stores are fooled at first sight. 

When you see major retailers charging $800 for the 64 GB iPhone 8 plus, it's easy to think this $180 Craigslist ad is a steal. But chances are it's a scam. 

"It's much cheaper to buy online so those people are going there thinking they're getting the original phone and they're getting ripped off," said Shazhad Pirani.

Owner of I Repair It Shazhad Pirani says those phones are most likely fake. 

"When you got to use the phone over a long period of time," said Pirani. "Then the phone will die, it will have two to three hour battery life. It'll break easier, you can't fix  it because the glass isn't available."

Pirani says over the last five years he's seen the occasional look-a-like cross his desk but in the last two months he's seen about a dozen. 

"We've gotten to a point where we cant tell until we open the phone up because everything is identical until we open the phone up," said Pirani.

If you don't have the time or tools to go inside your phone, Pirani says you can do this:

"A few ways to tell it's fake  is I would match is up to another phone…you can tell the colors are different," said Pirani. "Go into settings and see if the operating system is running the newest operating system."

The scariest part is many smartphone users don't even know they're a target. 

"I hope you're going to broadcast this and warn people, because we need to do something about it," said Pirani.

This doesn't mean you can't buy a phone online. If you do, ask the seller to meet you at an IT repair shop or retailer so you can check and make sure that it's legit.

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