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Thread: How to tell if a Mac is stolen...

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    How to tell if a Mac is stolen...

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    Hey,
    I am in the need of a new mac computer. I saw one advertised in our local classified ads. I went and checked it out and the computer is exactly what I need. However, it seems like way to good of a deal. Is there any way that I can check before I buy it to see if it is stolen? It probably is legit, but I do not want stolen property on my hands. The seller gave me the serial number so I have it if there is some way I can check. Thanks in advance.

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    One good way is to see if the user can operate it in front of you. Have him show you around the computer. If they aren't very proficient, don't know what programs they have, or give you a bunch of bull in general, you know it's suspect.

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    Smile Mac Guys Are Weird...

    No flames - I'm on the verge of becoming one of them

    That said, if a mac guy is wanting to get rid of something current he is REALLY hard up or it is stolen! Said in jest but it might have some bit of truth to it.

    -Scott

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    You might try a Google search to see if there are any online databases showing serial numbers for stolen computers. Or you might try calling local law enforcment or GBI to see if such a data source exists nationally or in Georgia. Another possibility would be to match the serial number and the sellers name through Apple computer. If he registered his Mac at the time of purchase, Apple would probably have some type of record. Whether they give you that information is another question. I would also ask the seller for manuals that came with the computer or bundled software. Even the most enterprising thief would probably not steal manuals or software documentation unless the computer stolen from a retailer new in the box. If it's a new mac with OSX, the machine has its own internal security. When setting up the computer, each user has a password that must be entered if they "logout" rather than shutdown. If you can test the computer, ask the seller to logout and renter his user password. Again, this won't help if the computer was stolen from a retailer. You might also ask the seller to put the Mac into sleep mode. Once in sleep mode, OSX runs a default screen saver that lists the user's name in big letters ("John Doe's Computer."). If the default screen saver doesn't match the sellers name, then you may have an issue. Hope this helps!

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