This story comes up every once in a while, you hear of how ‘sleuths’ descended upon a person in possession of a stolen device deep in some barely known village, such has been a trending topic on social media after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) arrested a man who bought a phone from Jiji, a popular online shopping site in the country.
According to his friend, the unnamed man purchased a Xiaomi Note 9 Pro posted by a fella, Denis Butichi for about Ksh11,000, who had it delivered to him in Voi, which he then paid for via M-Pesa. Unknowingly to him, the device had been stolen from a certain Beth Nyambura Wanjiru together with some Ksh47,500 in cash.
This is not the first case and will definitely not be the last, while it is easy to recommend and urge consumers to avoid second-hand devices at all costs, it is not practical to many. The primary motivation while buying a second-hand device is usually to save money, and God knows we need to save money.
Over the years, when you lose a smartphone, you are advised to report the theft to a police station, most of these cases never get anywhere, so to tell me that these detectives can go all the way to trace and recover the lost phone and stop at the very first person they find it with screams incompetence.
The whole story was not adding up, why are the police not following the money? a Netizen argues that “thieves are intelligent. They buy lines, register with ids of dead people or lost ID’s Use their sim card to do fraud, withdraw money, and throws away the line. It’s either he (the buyer) produces the person who sold him the phone or carries the cross.” This begs the question, why would the thief even send the device in the first place? why not commit to his craft and steal from the Voi dude?
As expected, Netizens had the answers, a Twitter user, @Okwonfree explains how after you report your phone, the police do nothing until you stop following up, after this, corrupt officials then trace the phone to the initial thief, and then starts a cycle that of selling and arresting people found with the device for a quick buck.
While this is not proven to be factual, it is interesting to see these multiple theories on how these cases unfold. What is, however, factual is that there is a whole lot of incompetence within these police departments.
The Risk of Buying Second-Hand Devices
Apart from being tied up in the web of conspiracies, there are a lot of other reasons why maybe buying a second-hand device is bad for you.
- Limited Warranty
- Unknown History of the Device
- Higher Risk of Malfunction and Breakdowns
- Outdated Technology
One of the significant risks of buying a second-hand device is that it usually comes with a limited or no warranty. In case of any defect or malfunction, you will have to bear the repair cost. This can be a significant financial burden, especially if the device is expensive.
Unknown History of the Device
Another significant risk of buying a second-hand device is that it is challenging to know the history of the device. The previous owner might have used the device excessively, dropped it, or damaged it in some other way. These damages might not be immediately apparent, and the device may seem to be functioning correctly. However, the damage can show up after a few days or weeks of use, and the buyer will be left with an expensive repair bill.
Higher Risk of Malfunction and Breakdowns
Second-hand devices are more prone to malfunction and breakdowns than brand-new devices. The reason for this is that second-hand devices have already been used and may have exceeded their expected lifespan. Additionally, they may have already encountered several hardware or software issues, and fixing them can be costly.
Technology is continually evolving, and newer devices are often better and more advanced than older ones. Second-hand devices are usually outdated and may not have the latest technology or features. This means that the buyer might miss out on important updates, patches, or security fixes that the manufacturer releases.