TELUS doc says that “Various locations” have reported fake iPhones are being returned

Ian Hardy

February 14, 2012 5:40 pm


There seems to be some funny business happening over at TELUS. Some fishy customers have taken it upon themselves to cash in on the buyer’s remorse policy and return fake iPhones. There’s no word on how many have been returned, but the internal doc states that “various locations” have been hit. You can see from the images that the fake iPhone 4S has several major differences to the real deal: display is lighter, back cover comes off, mute button is hard to flip… this almost ranks up there with the recent clay iPad scam that hit big box retailers during the holidays.

Update: TELUS sent us a note stating that the fake iPhone returns are circulating in Canada, not specifically at TELUS locations. “Just wanted to clarify something here about that post. We actually received a communication from Apple about this issue and shared it with our team so that they are aware of the issue but we have not detected any fake iPhone.”

(Thanks tipster!)

  • R

    If the back comes off the iphone, then it’s clearly fake.
    How is it that people actually get away with returning these obvious fakes? Do the reps not check to see if it’s the original phone.

    • Hamburgler

      I returned 12 fakes woooooooooooo

    • Zombie Ted Rogers

      It’s hard to make someone earning minimum wage care about whether returned phones are real or fake.

  • shaggyskunk

    When asked for an explanation, Telus responded “iDunno”.

  • Betty Koyle

    Woudlnt they test the phone before returns? Doesn’t make sense.

  • Yan

    i’m a rep and I don’t know how these fools are being fooled… lol

  • Boojay

    I don’t get it. What’s the difference between this ‘fake’ iphone and a real one?

  • david

    As a former Apple employee, I encountered fake iPhones all the time and they were always pretty poorly done that it was almost laughable. Im shocked, that Telus employees would fall for this unless they had some inside cooperation.

  • Antonio

    Not a surprise considering that a good 95% of reps/sales from every wireless company are completely ignorant about the handsets they sell…

    • Mitch

      Antonio, let me ask you, 95%? Is that taken from an actual reputable statistics firm or governmental source such as stats canada or are you simply making an uneducated guess thus being an ignorant fool? Let me know is was quite interested by your posting.

    • Bob

      75.2587% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

  • the police

    This isn’t very smart.

    When you sign up for a contract with any service provider they take ALL your info. So when a customer does return a phone the provider, in this case, TELUS knows which customer has returned a product. So they can easily trackback to who returned these phones and mess up their credit.

    • david

      Chances are these accounts were created using stolen identities.

    • Allan

      They probably bought the phones outright, with cash. Anyone running a scam would know not to use real info, or a credit card.

  • Goober

    How can a sales rep not figure out the difference?

    I’ve actually seen one of the fake ones… There is a signifigant difference from the original iPhone.

    Telus employees must not be well trained if they cant spot a difference…

  • Greg

    When they say “various locations”, I have to assume it’s really only been a few. Knowing their loss prevention policies even 1 or 2 stores would be enough to send out an internal document.

    Though really though, the reps that took these devices back, or ANY device, without first doing a quick inspection, should have a serious revue of their further employment conducted.

  • Beso

    they could buy the iphones using cash or one of those prepaid CC

    I know when I bought my gnex from FS I was never asked for my info … just a phone # which I gave them my really old 4 or 5 yrs old cell # which happened to be a prepaid also!

    I just did that becuase I dont want FS to have my # just in case they call me or some company calls me from their behalf

  • T1MB1T

    The would NEVER happen at wind! You should all switch! We have the best phones, the best plans and the best reps to help you. Just today Tony said we are the best at what we do! We ave the most megga hurts so we must be the best! Soon we will have the Iphone 5 and you all will be wanting to be on our far superior network! Applications are being taken at the wind forum for the no gag reflex club. wind!!

  • Hon

    All I can say is ROFL.. I honestly don’t know how the reps are getting fooled…

  • iTards

    You pay the rep 12$ or 15$ and u expect him to give a $h!t ? just return and threw it in the back.. it’s an iPhone! not a big deal..

  • Mike

    I’m sure the fake one is better than the original, so no problem there!

  • Superfly

    Phones were bought ouf right and boxes were re sealed before return.

  • Superfly

    Phones were bought outright and boxes were resealed before return.

  • gino

    Unreal how Telus accepted these fake phones lmao hahaha I’d fire the employees asap either they knew they were fake or they’re a complete fool to accept them or inside job.
    I’ve seen them and I would know the difference it’s too obvious lol

  • Wil

    There is also the possibility that the telus rep is also part of the scam. The rep can receive a returned iphone from a client (aka partner)and put the fake into circulation.

    or

    the telus rep can be swapping out a legitimate returned iphone in the inventory with fakes.

  • Edwin

    How come they are not turning around and charging these people with fraud??

  • NightB

    the “customer“ probably bought it with fake credit card and the rep did not see that it was a fake card…. wich is REALLY EASY TO SEE… to return a resealed boxed for sure the rep cant open the sealed package to take a look inside before the refund… like.. open an “brand new box“?? dont blame them people! be inside of it to understand how it works…

  • NightB

    so funny what telus employee share to you! this is so not important for the audience to know?? … curious people

  • Netguru

    Clearly from the picture these are open box returns. Doesn’t Telus even check the IMEI when a phone is returned?

    • Dimitri.k

      You guys do not get it. If the person that bought the phone took out the REAL iPhone & replace the iPhone with a fake one & resealed the box, Telus would not open the box to see if the phone is in there. Every company i know does not open sealed boxes. Even Apple does not. This could be the reason why this is going on. Also if you pay with cash the rep does not ask for your name or number & even if they do people always give fake names & numbers out. The ONLY way to catch them is from the cameras.

  • One_forward_two_back

    At least they’re not made of clay!

  • zzZZzz

    Donnow about returns, but I did have someone trying to activate an “iPhone” they bought from some Asian country (think Thailand) and the sim card tray just popped out the moment I pushed the pin in; also the IMEI of the phone returned as being a Nokia IMEI. I had a good laugh

  • Telus employee

    Well, for starters not all the telus stores are company owned. The majority are independent businesses. If an independent cell phone dealer takes back a fake, it is the dealer that is on the hook.
    Now as far as coroprate direct sales goes, I do not have any information regarding this scam, but as has been pointed out before, if someone ordered one, and it was shipped by mail, and they returned it unopened, and unactivated within the return period, the clerk receiving the package would not even open it up if the package was sealed. It would just go back into inventory, and be shipped out again. If the account was never activated, the clerk would scan the serial number, and put it back into inventory. It wouldn’t be till the next customer opened the box to find the fake, and report it. By then the stolen phone is long gone. Naturally the IMEI would be put on the hot list, and anyone activating that phone could be tracked, but if it was taken out of the country this is unlikely to happen.

  • Bell Employee

    I don’t know how other companies operate, but as an employee of Bell Canada the term, “Buyer’s Remorse”, (as returning method mentioned in the above picture) is used only when a customer returns an ACTIVATED device. Therefore the customer needs some kind of photo ID, fake or not and have an active social insurance number i.e SIN# or something registered to it, (like a credit card) to get the device. If they are returning an IPhone purchased outright for cost price then it would be considered a simple return of a stock item, not Buyer’s Remorse. So lost prevention will be tracking not only the phone’s IMEI, but also the identification used to get the IPhone.

  • Netguru

    @Dimitri.k
    You don’t get it. These are open box returns (aka buyers remorse)…see the picture in the article. So it is very easy to check the IMEI.

  • abc123

    I bet you if if the scammers returned a fake iPhone made of clay (like the ipad) the Telus employees still wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.