Watch out for those knockoff phones: They're 'iPhoney'

Watch out for those knockoff phones: They're 'iPhoney'

PORTLAND, Ore. – There's a market for phony iPhones in the area and what looks like a great deal is costing folks a lot of money.

A man bought an "iPhone 5" for $80 from a guy on the street who claimed to be a T-Mobile salesman selling trade-in phones. It even came in an iPhone box, had a touchscreen, and had the weight and feel of a real iPhone.

It even took pictures and stored them on the phone.

The man who bought the phone was too embarrassed to be interviewed for this story. His friend, Bill Kendrick, an IT guy, was the one who let him know the phone wasn't for real.

Kendrick was skeptical. He thought, big mistake by his friend. But then he saw the phone.

"I was really impressed with it," he said. "I didn't realize it was going to be an actual phone-looking device. At first glance it looks like a real phone. ... You wouldn't think a knockoff phone would have metal around the edges and glass on the front, much less touchscreen. It’s pretty convincing."

It even has the "Apple" logo on it.

But it's not an iPhone.

"If you try to go to the app store, it just says, 'connection failed,' Kendrick said.

Even if you don't trust the guy on the street corner, you'll find these phones online too.

There are reports of this happening all over the country.

Even though you can't test the phone for calls or Wi-Fi if it's not on a cellphone plan, you can check the serial number. Go online and see if it is registered with Apple.

Kendrick contacted KATU because he wanted everybody to have a heads up: Buyer beware.

If there's a scammer you want us to look into, send us an email at newstips@katu.com.