Apple's iPhone a Hot Commodity on the Black Market

By Daniel Santa Cruz Comments
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**Editor's Note: Click here for our list of October's hottest selling smartphones to see how the iPhone fared against the competition.**

It's no wonder the reports of iPhone theft are going up. The device can bring in a decent profit on the black market. More thieves are targeting iPhones to steal and resell on the black market, where they can bring in an estimated $300.

"It actually disgusts me for me to pay for something with my hard earned money and for someone to just come in and steal it," Michelle Martin, a victim of iPhone theft, told WEWS-TV in Tampa, Fla.

A recent police report from a Tampa case might shed some light on why iPhones are so popular with thieves. "[Apple's] policy mandates them to return the product to the person who sent it to them regardless if that person is the suspect of stolen property," the report stated.

There is no definitive way to prove that the person who returns the device is not the registered owner, the TV station said. It's not every time that an iPhone changes hands that it's done in a nefarious manner. The devices are resold all the time by authorized distributors.

That's part of the reason that Apple included TouchID on its iPhone 5s. The fingerprint scanner is designed to discourage thieves. iOS 7 also has some new, built-in security features.

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