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I have a feeling that I was scammed, can I get some input?

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Apr 6, 2014
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Hey, I'm not sure if I'm even asking the right source or in the right community, but I need some answers before I waste more money. A couple months ago, I found a damaged iPhone 4 on the side of the road. It was waterlogged and the screen was broken. I would normally pass over it, except I've been looking into an iPhone for a while and I injured my knee at work and could not return to work so I had nothing else better to do at home.

I took it and started fixing it. Repaired the circuitry and the screen and was able to find a back-up on it from the previous owner. After breaking past the lock screen, I tried to find the owner, but no phone numbers were stored and no clues as to who owned it or where they lived. I looked into it and passed over the fact that the SIM card was removed. So, I decided to search the tracking number and the account of the owner (since the phone's number was still on it) and I checked the background almost 5 times myself, and 3 times by different AT&T stores and nothing came up. The phone was inactive and was not blocked. The same thing came up each and every search, the same way each time.

So, I factory reset the phone and bought a SIM card and service for it, including unlocking. The phone was unlocked and my number was put on it. It worked. I had web, could send messages, and I could call. I tested each aspect I could and it worked fine. 30 minutes later, however, the phone no longer worked and when I made calls, it merely said "sorry, but your phone has been blocked". I looked into it and found that AT&T had put it on their "Lost or Stolen List" EXACTLY when the service was activated. I now use it only when connected to Wi-Fi, which gets annoying eventually.

This is basically what confuses me; I find a phone and repair it. Found nothing wrong on the background and was on no lists. The only thing was that its service ran out. I reset it and still nothing. I get service and then it randomly gets on the list right when it gets service. What confuses me more was that if it was on the list or anything, then AT&T would not have released the number; that's their policy, if the phone in question is on any restriction that violates terms of usage, than the account related to the phone is blocked and cannot be unlocked until resolved. However, as I said, the number was released, which means that it was not on any lists, as I researched. And then it gets service and the number is blocked, and now they won't release it.

Is it just me, or did I miss something. I already put exactly $255.43 in restoring it, and now it's not even worth $10 unless scrapped. I feel like I was scammed, by the circumstances, but I don't know how to answer back to this, nor who to speak to. AT&T just says that the phone is on the Lost or Stolen List so it cannot be unlocked with no other help.

Any help of any kind will be appreciated. I just want to know what my next step should be. Thanks.
That phone is not and never was yours. It legally belongs to the original owner. The right thing to do would be to turn it in to the police. iPhone Forums will not help you in any way to get service on an iPhone that you acquired in this manner.

With that, this thread is now closed.
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