Created an account just to say how disappointed I am in OfferUp’s lack of help with scam

Level 1
My niece is a hard-working college student putting herself through school. She saved up for an Apple Watch and met someone and paid her cash. Watched the seller unpair it from her phone. Got home to set it up, and the seller still had it connected to her iCloud account. After several polite messages asking her to remove it from her account, including instructions, the seller never responded to her messages and after saying she was going to report the seller, the seller blocked her. OfferUp won’t do anything without a police report, but she can’t get a police report because it was never reported stolen. Seller contacted her through a different account and said that since my niece reported her then she wasn’t going to do anything to help her out. OfferUp enabled this transaction; my niece was either sold a stolen item or the seller is belligerently refusing to honor the sale by releasing control of the device, and OfferUp is essentially shrugging and saying there’s nothing they can do. My niece can’t even leave an accurate review for this “TruYou” member because the seller has blocked her. So I guess you can’t trust reviews either, or whatever vetting is involved to be “TruYou” since all it takes to prevent a negative review is block the people you’re scamming. This is an unfortunate life lesson for my niece, that you can’t trust people on sites like this and you can’t trust the site to provide any support or recourse. I’ll never use OfferUp for anything, and will continue to share this with others as a warning.
Tags (3)
Level 9

Sorry that happened to your niece. But that does not mean everybody on here is a scammer or thief. I agree there are bad people out there who don't care who they hurt to make a buck. With that said it is a public selling site and buyers should always ask questions and make sure the item is what the seller described and especially with phones or apple watches make the seller call and prove the item is unlocked from their account. And if th seller doesn't answer the questions or says they can't provide you with proof the phone is truly unlocked they are probably up to no good. I'm not making excuses for the seller who ripped off your niece. Just got to be aware your not dealing with a retail store so its up to you to be alert. You have to check stuff out b4 handing over the money. I wish you and your niece well and am truly sorry for your experience.

Tags (2)
Community Helper
Hi @Pf welcome to the OfferUp Community forum,
First of all I’m sorry to hear about this issue, I agree with @jd41 response to your issue, with out trying too add more advice on what not to do in this situation, I’m sure other members will do that, but on the Apple Watch did you try calling Apple customer service, because I couldn’t get my password to work one day to open my watch, they just asked for the information on the back of the watch, then ran me through how to reset the watch back to factory specifications.
I asked what about the iCloud. they told me that’s gone and I just set it up like a new watch, it not like unlocking an Apple phone he said they are aloud to help people with the Apple watch. I’m not going to give that information in this thread I leave it to Apple to give that information, because I figured bad people may use it for stolen watches. Hopefully this helps you.
Level 1
Thanks for the reply. Without proof of purchase, Apple will not unlock any watch, or phone or computer. And rightly so; that’s how they prevent theft from their end.

And my niece has learned her lesson. But this isn’t about the transaction as much as it is about OfferUp being completely indifferent about this, allowing a seller to message someone and say “If you’re going to report me, then I won’t unlock the watch I just sold you,” and letting that seller continue on as a verified “trusted” seller with no consequences. It’s about a seller being able to rip someone off and then block them so that they can’t leave an honest, if negative, review, therefore appearing to the next sucker as a trusted member of the site — all enabled by OfferUp and their sad excuse for a “TruYou” identity. OfferUp doesn’t care if you get ripped off using their site, and you can’t trust their rating/feedback methods because it’s pretty easy for a seller to rig the ratings in their favor.
Level 1
I’m the parent of the girl that was scammed. She has called Apple, talked to OfferUp, talked to the police and talked to the seller. The seller is just refusing to unpair this watch. I consider that fraud and think that OfferUp should be willing to intervene. At least tell the seller to hold up her end of the sale or lose the rights to this service.
Community Helper
Hey @Pf @Hezikyah74 on the proof of purchase, I didn’t buy my Apple Watch new from Apple, I got it from OfferUp new in the box, with out proof of purchase,
it must just be what person you got at Apple customer care. They didn’t ask for anything, all they needed was the model number and serial number from the back of the Apple watch.
if you have the original box it’s also on that.
I would recommend trying again with a different person. I had no problem getting the watch reset back to new.
Community Helper
@Pf @Hezikyah74 I just googled this question, and there’s also a video how to do it, sorry I can’t list the website for the video here in this thread because it’s against OfferUp guidelines. But you can just google this same question below,

Can you unlock a Icloud locked Apple Watch?

iPhones are protected by Activation Lock, which means that even if a thief performs a hard reset of the phone, it cannot be reactivated without the original owner's Apple ID and password. The Apple Watch, however, has no such protection, and does not require a passcode to wipe it – as shown in the video below …May 14, 2015
OfferUp employee

Thank you for reaching out and letting us know about what happened. We take these matters seriously as this is never the type of experience we want our users to have. I’m really sorry to hear about your situation. The best way to bring this to our attention is to report the user directly from their profile page or the message thread. If your niece is not able to report, please Private Message me with the email address associated to your niece's account and I can have our team investigate.

We don’t disclose actions taken on other users per our privacy policies, but I can assure you that we do not tolerate behavior that violates our Community Standards.

To prevent something like this happening in the future, please see our Best Practices for Buying items in our Help Center. Keep in mind that all items are sold in their current condition and all sales are final.


If you do end up working with local law enforcement or legal counsel on this issue, please have them contact OfferUp directly. Our Law Enforcement Resources Page will give you more details about how we work with them. Please let me know how else I can help! We're here for you!