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Only a few people will ignore the slightest opportunity to be a Mac owner. Mac is one of the most popular computer systems globally, but it is also more expensive than other computers. Using a Mac is good, and you can get a used one if you don’t have the money for a new one. But how safe is it, and what if it is stolen? Can a stolen MacBook be used?
Anyone can use a stolen MacBook and have access to your personal information if you haven’t set a firmware password and erased the data or disabled the laptop. However, using a stolen Mac comes with many problems because the owner can track the PC. It is the reason you should do your due diligence before buying a used or new Mac.
Also, if you are getting a MacBook, and it is not a new one or from a trusted dealer, you should check the background to know if the laptop was stolen or not. Again, you will be doing more good than harm by making the right findings about the laptop before you buy it.
- Getting your Mac from online marketplaces increases your chance of getting a stolen Mac.
- Checking the serial number and confirming on the Apple site will let you know if the PC is stolen or not.
- You could get arrested and jailed for getting a stolen Mac
- You can always recover your stolen Mac when you have all the information about the PC and have activated the “Find my Mac” before it was stolen.
- Can A Stolen MacBook Be Used?
- What Happens If You Buy A Stolen MacBook?
- How Can You Tell If A Mac Is Stolen?
- How To Avoid Buying A Stolen Mac?
Can A Stolen MacBook Be Used?
Yes, a stolen MacBook can be used if there is no pre-set firmware password, but it depends on whether the thief is a motivated hacker or an average consumer. If the thief is a hacker or someone who knows their way around computers, it is possible. The thief can use the computer to obtain the user’s personal information, including passwords.
The most important thing you can do to protect your MacBook is to set up Find My Mac in System Preferences (in the iCloud section). This allows you to track your MacBook if it’s lost or stolen.
If you have enabled “Find My Mac” on your computer and someone steals it, you can use another device with an internet connection to remotely lock your computer or wipe its data. But if you have not enabled Find My Mac on your computer, there is no way for you to disable it remotely.
Also, you can set up two-step verification for your Apple ID; which will make sure that even if the thief has access to your account information and password, they won’t be able to get into your account without access to your phone.
What Happens If You Buy A Stolen MacBook?
If you purchase a stolen MacBook, you will have some problems. First, buying a stolen device is an illegal activity, and it can also be a very expensive mistake.
Below are some things that might happen if you buy a stolen MacBook:
You Could Get Arrested And Jailed
People who buy stolen devices often assume that they won’t get caught. This can be especially true if they made the purchase and found a way to get rid of the laptop without leaving any loophole for them to be traced. Sometimes it involves destroying the laptop.
It is important you know that buying stolen goods is illegal, and there are real risks associated with it. Depending on where you live, the penalties for purchasing a stolen laptop can range from fines to jail time.
Many people have found themselves in trouble due to jumping at the offer of getting a MacBook at a lesser price. You should always make necessary findings about the Mac you want to buy and ensure it is not stolen before paying for it.
You May Not Be Able To Use The MacBook
If your MacBook is stolen, and you report it to Apple Care support, it will get locked; and no one won’t be able to use it unless they have or know the correct Apple ID and password for the original owner of the laptop.
If you also try to change the password or format the hard drive, it will get locked again once it connects to a Wi-Fi network and communicates with Apple servers. This system gives every Mac user the security that other laptops do not have.
You can be so confident that whosoever stole your laptop will not be able to use it or have access to your information.
How Can You Tell If A Mac Is Stolen?
Mac computers are great. They are sleek, and they work well. But sometimes, you get a Mac that is stolen. And if you don’t know how to check if a Mac is stolen, you could be in trouble. So how do you tell if your Mac has been stolen? It is easy to find out.
You Can Find Out Through The Serial Number
You can always find out if the Mac you want to get is stolen or not through the serial number that comes with the laptop. All laptops, including MacBook, come with their special serial number. Therefore, you can use the serial number to get information about the laptop.
First, look at the serial number. You can find it on the bottom of a MacBook. If this number has been erased, painted over, or tampered with, the chances are good that you have got a stolen computer in your hands.
Second, look up the serial number online to see if any information comes up. If you do so on Apple’s Check Coverage page, you will be able to see if the Mac is still under warranty and if there are any repair issues related to the device.
Third, check for an activated screen when you first turn on your computer. If you don’t see one, you are probably not dealing with an authentic machine.
Wrong Information From A Dealer
The best way to tell if a Mac is stolen is to ask the dealer where they got it. If the dealer can’t provide you with a valid answer, there is a good chance they had nothing to do with getting the product in its original state.
Dealers that buy stolen goods know that you will want to be certain of what you are getting, and asking them these questions will help put any concerns at ease:
- Where did the device come from? (If they don’t know, you should walk away.)
- What condition was it in when they bought it? (If it is a different condition than what you have been shown, something is probably up.)
- Why are they selling it now? (If their reason seems suspicious or doesn’t make sense, just like if they claim ownership rights but don’t have any paperwork proving this, walk away.)
Getting A Lower Price From A Dealer
Most people get into the trap of acquiring a stolen Mac because they jump on a sweet offer from the dealer. Imagine getting a Mac worth above $2000 for a price below $1000. If the dealer is offering the Mac at a price below the real market value, it indicates that something is not right.
You should never get such a laptop as you will get yourself in trouble if you do. Truly the offer looks good, but the outcome can be unbearable for you.
How To Avoid Buying A Stolen Mac?
When buying a used Mac, you must know what to look for to avoid purchasing a stolen device. It is also important that you know what kinds of reasonable deals and which ones may be too good to be true. If the price is too low, the Mac has likely been stolen or refurbished with stolen parts.
One way to confirm the legitimacy of a Mac is by verifying the serial number with Apple.
You should make sure the seller gives you a receipt and serial number. The seller might claim that they lost the receipt and their original box and charger, but if they bought the item from an Apple Store, they should still have that information on file.
If they don’t want to give you either, that should raise some red flags.
You should also check whether or not the computer has been registered in someone else’s name. That means it was likely purchased legitimately but could have been stolen since then.
Once you have gotten those two things settled, you will want to check if the serial number matches anything reported as stolen on Apple’s website before deciding.
Avoid Online Marketplaces
If possible, avoid purchasing a Mac from an online marketplace like Craigslist or eBay. While you can find plenty of legitimate sellers on these sites, there is also a chance that you will run into someone who’s trying to pull one over on you.
It is better to deal with someone in person so that you can check out the item before agreeing to a purchase. If you must buy from an online marketplace, use PayPal or a similar service so that you can file a claim if something goes wrong.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation that we have the power to avoid. For example, some come with high security when dealing with laptops, and Mac is the frontier. It is one reason they come more expensive than other laptops.
If a Mac got stolen, the chances of recovering it are somewhat high, which is why one has to avoid getting a stolen Mac. On the other hand, you should never fall for the lower price of the laptop, and that is why you need to know how to find out if a laptop is stolen or not.
This page on can a stolen MacBook be used does not discuss the question alone but also gives information on things you need to know. Some of those things include ways to avoid getting a stolen Max and how to detect a stolen laptop from one that is not.