Laptop theft equals big business for many thieves. Online classifieds and auction sites like Craigslist, pawnshops and sometimes even street corners provide the perfect spot to flip a stolen machine. While few of us will deny that computer theft is a seedy crime, many of us wouldn’t hesitate if offered a great deal on a good computer. But at what price?
Whether you unknowingly make an illegitimate transaction or simply chose to ignore your better judgement to strike a good deal, the consequences of buying a stolen laptop are unfavorable. If you end up in a shady situation but still make the purchase, you could potentially face charges for Possession of Stolen Property. If that laptop contained sensitive data (personally identifiable information from customer data, privileged or proprietary corporate data) that can be linked back to a business, what responsibility do you have to alert police or return that data or device? Even if by chance you can prove you made the second-hand purchase in good faith, you’ll still be without a laptop in the end. The police will return the machine to its legitimate owner, and you’ll be out whatever cash you forked over.
Absolute recovers thousands of stolen computers each year, and so we know the general rule of thumb when it comes to purchasing a used machine. If the situation feels suspicious, it probably is, and you should avoid it.
Although there are no real tell-tale signs of theft, there are definitely red flags to look for when buying secondhand.
Even though the offer may be tempting, think before you buy and do your research first.
Absolute provides persistent visibility and control for endpoint devices - desktop, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Embedded at the factory in more than 1 billion devices, our protection cannot be deleted or disabled. If you are purchasing a device for corporate use, be sure to purchase only new devices that are protected by the self-healing endpoint security from Absolute. The last thing you want is for your new device - and all your sensitive data - to end up in the hands of thieves!