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iPhone Touch Disease: What Is It & How To Fix It

If your iPhone 6 Plus device has dropped onto a hard surface several times it may start flickering or stop responding to touchscreen features. This common and widespread issue has been coined iPhone Touch Disease.

Apple has publicly acknowledged the problem and admitted it can impact iPhone 6 devices that have been dropped multiple times. The issue is also related to devices that bend in pockets, or are damaged by certain phone cases.

Touch Disease is related to the whole “bendgate” situation, in which users realized just how sensitive the iPhone 6 could be. So much so, it can bend by simply being left in your back pocket. If the phone bends it can dislodge sensitive and highly important chips within the device. These damages resemble what happens to your phone after it’s been dropped, hence how both bent and dropped iPhones can experience Touch Disease.

iPhone Touch Disease results from dislodged chips located on the logic board. Without these chips, the device becomes unable to carry out routine touch screen commands and processes.

What Is iPhone Touch Disease?

The term “Touch Disease” arises out of the nature of the issue, the touch screen features no longer work correctly. Some iPhone users report their touchscreen features completely stop working for months, while others experience more on-and-off issues.

In August of last year, it was determined that the issue relates to chips inside of the phone becoming loose after the phone is dropped or put under another form of pressure. As a result, the chips become faulty and do not work properly.

Signs Of iPhone Touch Disease

Some key signs that your device has Touch Disease include:

-There’s a gray bar showing up along the top of the phone where the status bar should be.

-Shortly after this gray bar appears, many users report their touch screen stops working or responding to commands.

-Your phone is not responding to commands via the touchscreen at all.

Will Apple Fix Phones Damaged By Touch Disease?

In acknowledging the problem, Apple has also agreed to fix the problem for $149. Not only is it going to cost you money, but also there’s a catch. The phone cannot have a shattered screen or any other issues. That means you’ll need to get the screen fixed, as well as any other issues, before Apple agrees to fix Touch Disease.

Apple writes on its website that it has “determined that some iPhone 6 Plus devices may exhibit display flickering or multi-touch issues after being dropped multiple times on a hard surface and then incurring further stress on the device.”

Other restrictions Apply may impose on repairs include:

-Limiting or restricting repairs to the original country you purchased your device.

-You must have an iPhone 6 Plus device

-Your phone must have been purchased within the last 5 years.

-The $149 is not set in stone, pricing may vary based upon the Apple Authorized Service Provider.

Are Other Devices Besides The iPhone 6 Plus Impacted By Touch Disease?

Apple has only acknowledged the problem and offered the $149 solution to the larger iPhone 6 Plus. Although, it appears the problem is impacting other Apple devices as well. Some iPhone 6 users have complained of the same issue.

What If Apple Won’t Fix My Broken Phone?

After a lot of complaints, Apple finally acknowledged the issue in November of last year and agreed to fix the problem for $149. Apple will not fix a phone with Touch Disease if you have a cracked screen or other issues. It’s advised to have those issues fixed first.

The cost and stipulations prove Apple doesn’t see the issue as entirely their fault, after all you’re not supposed to drop your device or sit on it. In your defense, it’s way too easy to drop or sit on your phone and in a perfect world your iPhone would be able to stand up to these challenges.

All of that being said it’s easy to see why people are getting worked up over the issue. In fact, Touch Disease has caused a number of lawsuits to break out in Utah, California, and even in Canada. The complaints state that Apple was aware of the faulty touchscreens but made no effort to do anything about it.

If you need anything fixed on your iPhone, from a faulty chip to a cracked or shattered screen, My Broken Phone provides leading on-the-spot repairs. We even have micro soldering tools for more extensive repairs related to damaged or faulty motherboards. Contact us today to learn more and get a competitive quote to fix your phone!

How To Prevent Your Mobile Phone Battery From Exploding

The two most common reasons a phone battery catches fire is because it was dropped and the battery was damaged, or the device overheats. There are a number of reasons a phone battery can overheat and explode, including fundamental flaws with the battery, using incorrect charging devices, leaving your phone in direct sunlight and even dropping your phone. By taking a few simple precautions you can limit the risk of your phone battery exploding.

What Caused So Many Samsung Note 7 Phones To Explode?

Samsung released a statement explaining the cause of the Samsung Note 7 explosions, they said: “A short circuit within the battery may occur when there is damage to the separator that allows the positive and negative electrodes to meet within the jellyroll. Based on a detailed analysis of the affected batteries, both Battery A from the first recall and Battery B from the second recall, we identified separate factors that originated in and were specific to the two different batteries.”

Further comments on Battery A included: “The negative electrode was deflected in the upper-right corner of the battery. The tip of the negative electrode was incorrectly located in the curve, not the planar area.”

Further comments on Battery B included: “High welding burrs on the positive electrode resulted in the penetration of the insulation tape and separator which then caused direct contact between the positive tab with the negative electrode. A number of batteries were missing insulation tape.”

Can Other Phones Explode Like The Samsung Note 7?

The exact cause of the Samsung Note 7 explosions has finally been identified, but that doesn’t mean all other phones are free from risk of exploding or catching fire. Many other devices have proven themselves capable of exploding, including Blackberries, iPhones and so forth.

The 2 Most Common Ways Phones Catch Fire

#1. You Drop Your Phone & The Battery Is Damaged

Lithium batteries are prone to exploding if they are dropped, damaged or stressed. Simply dropping your device can cause the battery to expand and potentially catch fire.

How to prevent your phone’s lithium battery from becoming damaged:

Keep your phone in a case. This will help protect it against damages if/when it falls.

Have your phone checked after if it takes a hard fall. If your phone takes a hard fall, it might be worth it to have the device checked over for signs of internal damage.

Don’t continue using your device if the screen is shattered or cracked. Signs that indicate a greater possibility of a damaged battery include a cracked or shattered screen, as well as other dents or signs of damage.

#2. Your Phone Overheats

Overheated phones are more likely to explode or catch fire. There are numerous ways your device can become overheated. If your phone’s temperature becomes too high it will cause the device to experience an internal short circuit. The battery does not have to be faulty for this to occur. If the battery is unable to cool down in a timely fashion it is known as “thermal runaway.” This leads to a chain reaction in which the temperature further increases and leads to the potential for an explosion.

How to prevent your phone from overheating:

Never charge your phone near additional heat sources. Your phone naturally builds heat while it charges, by charging your phone near a bright window or on top of a cable box you add more heat to the situation.

Remove your phone case when charging your device. Removing your case while your phone charges can help the device release some heat. Just like when you wear a heavy jacket, the case traps heat inside.

Don’t leave your phone in direct sunlight. Keep your phone somewhere cool and protected when you’re out by the pool or spending the day at the beach.

Don’t leave your phone in a hot car. Your phone can easily overheat if it is left in a hot car, especially if it is charging.

Other Ways To Prevent Your Phone From Exploding & Catching Fire

Use the correct charger. Avoid buying cheap off-brand chargers, as they increase the risk for fires and overheating. Ideally, you want to use the charger sold alongside your device.

Let your phone take a break if it gets too hot. If you’re playing a game or watching a video on your device and you notice it’s getting really hot, give it a chance to cool down before resuming.

Charge your phone somewhere safe. Avoid charging your phone under your pillow while you sleep. Keep it somewhere cool and a safe distance from you.

Unplug your phone when it’s charged. There’s no need to keep your phone on the charger after it reaches 100%.

Concerned that your phone might catch fire and explode? Bring it by My Broken Phone! One of our knowledge team members will be happy to take a look at your device.

How Safe Is The Venmo App?

Over $1 billion in payments have been made using the Venmo app, but how safe is Venmo and by using it are you putting your bank account in danger?

Venmo has experienced rapid growth since it was founded in 2009, especially amongst Millennials. Not only does it make it super simple to pay people who do not have the same bank as you, but also it adds a fun social sharing aspect to paying people back. You can scroll through your Venmo feed and see who is paying whom back and for what.

I’m an avid Venmo user, but even I question the overall safety of the app. And I know I’m far from the only one that does. After all, in order to even sign up for Venmo you have to give up your account number and other vulnerable information. The whole thing can start to make you feel a little uneasy, especially considering major corporations like Target have been hacked in recent years. What’s to stop someone from hacking Venmo and accessing a world of bank accounts?

How Does Venmo Work?

Venmo is sort of like PayPayl in that it simplifies money transfers no matter what bank you use. You can link your debit card or credit card to your Venmo account and then use it as you please to pay people back. You can make payments or send requests for payments to friends and family.

Some people even use Venmo for work; as long as you’re not using a credit card it doesn’t charge fees like PayPal. Venmo has even incorporated an application-programming interface that grants businesses the opportunity to easily add payment services to their website.

Any funds transferred into your Venmo account can be stored there as your Venmo balance, or directly transferred into your bank at any time. It generally takes a few days for the money to arrive in your account. You don’t need any balance in your Venmo account to make payments; it’ll simply draw the money out of your attached account.

Is Venmo Safe?

Venmo sounds amazing, and it is, but that doesn’t mean it is risk free. There are many security concerns in today’s virtual world and platforms like Venmo are not exempt from potential hacks. Without doubt, sites like Venmo are highly targeted by hackers and scammers. Since the app links directly to your personal bank account, Venmo must operate under the highest level of security. Yet, even with top-notch resources, and high tech security, there are still a number of risks that exist. Of course, the same can be said for going to your local ATM after dark, or buying things online with your debit card.

At least Venmo uses bank-level security, such as data encryption, to protect its users. As a result, nothing major has rocked the payment platform just yet but smaller issues have popped up.

Some users have complained that their information, including passwords and email addresses, were changed without notification until the user’s funds were depleted. Other users have noticed large sums of money unknowingly transferred out of their Venmo account without any notification. All that being said, Venmo-related theft remains low and a lot of these issues have been attributed to user error.

Does Venmo Insure You Against Theft?

Venmo offers insurance against damaged accounts. Security and liabilities insurance protects you from most major theft. In most cases, the user is still liable to pay $50 and Venmo will cover the remaining expenses. The only catch is that Venmo must be contacted within 2 business days so it’s important to keep close tabs on your account(s) every day.

Who Owns Venmo?

PayPal owns Venmo but it was originally an independent company purchased by Braintree in March of 2012 for $26.2 million. Braintree operated other popular apps such as Uber and Airbnb. The publicly traded company PayPal (PYPL) purchased Braintree in 2013 for $800 million.

Is Venmo Free?

Venmo is free to use unless you use a credit card to make payments. Instead of relying on mobile ads to generate revenue, Venmo charges a 3% fee for the use of credit card transactions. If you use most major banking debit cards or checking accounts you will not incur any fees at all. Paypal, Venmo’s parent company, charges a 2.9% fee for all credit and debit transactions—unless you choose to pay as “family and friends.”

As a result of charging no fees and having no advertisements, Venmo is currently reporting $0 in revenue. On the other hand, PayPal generated $9.24 billion in 2015. Perhaps it’s a sign that Venmo payments won’t remain free forever. Or, that one day you’ll be forced to watch ads before sending your friend $10 for coffee and pastries.

How To Remove Apple Calendar Spam From Your iPhone

Apple Calendar Spam is causing unwanted calendar invites to show up in your device, but whatever you do you don’t want to click on these spam ads. iCloud Apple Calendar invites advertise things like: “Cyber Monday—NFL Jersey…” or, “$19.99 Ray-ban & Oakley.” At first you might be tempted to click on the advertised link, but it is 100% spam and not a legit sale. Interestingly, it isn’t a new problem; some people have been getting calendar spam for quite some time. Over the last couple of months, far more iPhone users have reported calendar spam, bringing much-needed attention to the issue.

I was so confused the first time I received a calendar ping over some random sale for a brand I had never even heard of. My high-tech hubby noticed it happening again later that week and immediately told me it was spam. We started looking up anything we could find about how to get rid of it. We found all kinds of things, many of which contradicted each other. Finally, Apple has made a public statement on the issue.

Apple’s Statement Regarding iCloud Calendar Spam

Apple quickly became aware of the issue. Many people actually brought their devices into the Apple store in hopes someone there could fix the problem. Apple’s statement said:

“We are sorry that some of our users are receiving spam calendar invitations. We are actively working to address this issue by identifying and blocking suspicious senders and spam in the invites being sent.”

Apple has since identified and created a fix to the problem. There is a new feature in iCloud Calendar that gives you the capability to report any calendar invitation as junk if you do not know the sender. The only way to access the “Report Junk” feature is to sign in to iCloud.com and report the invite from there. Hopefully sometime in the near future they will make the fix more readily accessible from iOS and macOS.

What Happens When You Get A Spam Calendar Invitation?

When you get the invitation you have one of two options: Accept it or close it. If you close it, it gets filed away in your iCloud calendar, marked as un-responded to. From there, if you decline the event it’ll disappear into who knows where, but don’t worry another will arrive shortly thereafter. Many people are leery about declining these invitations because that means an alert is sent to the sender, who is clearly some spammer looking to make a quick buck off of complete strangers.

How To Report Calendar Invites As Junk

If the sender of the junk is not listed in your contacts, you can mark it as junk. It is then reported to the Apple God’s and removed from your calendar. This prevents you having to respond and does not alert the sender of your actions.

Step by step instructions:

#1. Go to iCloud.com on your laptop or desktop computer.

#2. Sign in using your Apple ID and passcode.

#3. Click on Calendar via navigation tools.

#4. Double-click on the Offending Event Invitation.

#5. Under the sender name you will see the option to Report Junk.

If you’re getting spammed nonstop, you might want to have your calendar invites sent directly to your email. This makes it easier to delete.

How to have your calendar invites sent directly to your email instead of your iPhone:

#1. Use your laptop or desktop computer to go to iCloud.com.

#2. Log in using your Apple ID and password.

#3. Click on Calendar via the navigation tools.

#4. Look for the Settings icon, you’ll find it in the bottom left corner of the screen.

#5. Click Preferences

#6. A window will pop up and you’ll see the option to click Advanced.

#7. You’ll see an option to pick where to Receive Event Invitations, mark the box for Email to [your email address].

#8. Hit save and go about your day! In the future, all of your calendar invites will be sent directly to your email instead of your device. This makes it easier to delete any spam events.

Just like experts in any industry, spammers continue to evolve and are getting scary-status creative. Apple Calendar spam is a prolific example of that. In order to protect you and your device, always make sure your phone is up to date with the latest software updates. Never click any links from an unknown sender. If someone you do know sends you a link, verify that they did in fact send the link and it is safe to click. You can never play it too safe with so many people out there trying to hack into your sensitive information. Need additional help protecting your iPhone? Visit My Broken Phone for on the spot repairs and iPhone assistance.

Comparing The Top 4 Most Popular Music Streaming Apps and Services

Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music or Amazon music? There are many music streaming apps and services offering unlimited access to music for one flat monthly rate, but which is best for you?

The last couple decades have seen huge shifts in the music industry. I can still recall walking through the music section at Target back when they offered both tapes and CDs. One day, the tapes were completely gone and only CDs remained. Someday soon, CDs will no longer exist at any shopping mall. Music is heading towards 100% digitalization.

No need to burn a CD these days when you can simply stream any song you want at any time you want from your car, computer, smartphone or other electronic device.

Here are 4 of the most popular music streaming apps on the market to help you make an informed decision.

Amazon Music

Amazon Music has slightly better reviews (by nearly one whole star) on the Apple store (4.5) as opposed to the Google Play market (4.2 stars). Overall the service is pretty good and piggybacks on all of the other streaming services out there, like Apple Music. It allows you to access your favorite songs with offline listening; you can download playlists, songs and entire albums to listen to when you are not connected to Wi-Fi.

This service is really great if you have an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap device, because you get VIP plans for cheaper than anyone else. Also, if you’re an Amazon Prime member you’ll pay the lowest cost per month (compared to other similar services).

The lyrics to whatever song you’re listening to auto play on the bottom of your screen, which is a pretty neat feature.

Some people complain that Amazon has fewer songs than their competitors, but chances are that won’t last long as the service continues to grow. After all, they just got an exclusive contract to release Garth Brooke’s new album.

Overall Consensus: This service provides the most benefits to Amazon Prime members looking to add to their existing music collection with subscription content.

Download For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.mp3&hl=en

Download For Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/amazon-music/id510855668?mt=8

Apple Music

While nabbing Garth Brooks was a big deal for Amazon Music, Apple Music scores a number of exclusive releases. It’s one of the most developed and long-standing music platforms, giving it the competitive edge. True fact: It’s the only place you can download Taylor Swift’s chart topping “1989” album.

Apple Music has a wide variety of radio stations, pre-made playlists and even offers the option to create your own playlists.

Apple has paid big bucks for human music experts to create algorithms that sort through the music you listen to most and pinpoint what else you’d like.

Siri can change your music for you if you’re using an iOS device.

It’s not all perfection in the Apple Music world. The interface is a little bit complicated to work around. Also, it is not compatible with all Android apps or older iPods, except the iPod touch. If you like to share your music, you might prefer the additional sharing options included in Spotify.

Final Consensus: This app is made for people that are into the newest and most popular music, and enjoy using iTunes to store and buy their music.

Download For Apple: http://www.apple.com/music/

Download For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.apple.android.music&hl=en

Google Play Music

You can store as many as 50,000 songs in your Google Play locker, and you have the run of 30 million songs available for streaming. Google Play is well known for its excellent radio stations, as opposed to playlists. You can actually see a list of all of the songs on radio playlists and then save them to listen to later.

With your monthly fee you get a music streaming service as well as a subscription to YouTube Red, and free locker service.

The downside is that it doesn’t necessary showcase or even have the newest songs, as the platform is more focused on its winning radio stations and recommended music services. Plus, the actual design of the app is a little complicated.

Final Consensus: This app is best for Google users that like to blend their music all together with streaming selections.

Download For Android: https://play.google.com/music/listen?authuser#/sww

Download For Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-play-music/id691797987?mt=8

Spotify

Hail to the first streaming service and one of the most well known! People love Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlists, which includes 2-hours of custom-made music based off of your favorite music and artists. The app actually takes lurking to an entirely new level; you can see what your Facebook friends are listening to and downloading. The app makes it easy to follow artists and become immediately updated when new music is released. This app truly excels when it comes to personalization.

Even the free version is pretty sweet, offering the ability to easily synch and build playlists to listen to when you’re offline. It’s also very user-friendly and easy to use the interface.

One downside is the overwhelming amount of advertisements that come with using the service. If you have a free account you can only shuffle songs in the mobile app—then again, beggars can’t be choosers and the other services are not free at all.

Final Consensus: This app is best for people wanting access to unlimited music for free. It’s an equally great platform for paying customers as it offers an easy to use and highly rated platform for both Apple and Android users to create and share playlists.

Download For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.spotify.music&hl=en

Download For Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spotify-music/id324684580?mt=8

Is It Bad To Use A Phone With A Cracked Screen?

Leaving your Android or iPhone screen cracked makes your phone more susceptible to further damage, potentially leading to more costly repairs.

When trying to juggle all of life’s endless expenses, it’s easy to brush off iPhone and Android screen repairs until later. After all, your phone is still working so do you really need to fix it? Fixing your phone now instead of later could actually save you money.

A number of things can go wrong when your screen is cracked. For one, a multitude of cracks are prone to additional cracking. If your phone cracks too badly you won’t be able to read your screen any longer. Also, cracks allow water and other materials to seep beneath the surface and damage the fragile components beneath, creating more costly damage than a broken screen alone. Plus, actual chunks of your screen can embed deeper into the device or into the switches and openings, creating major damage.

If your iPhone screen is broken and something else goes wrong with your device, Apple will not accept your warranty for repairs. That’s one reason why making sure your screen is always in one piece is important. Your warranty will not cover replacement of the cracked screen. You’ll have to get the screen fixed elsewhere first in order for Apple to consider covering any other aspects of your device.

5 Drawbacks To Using A Smartphone With A Cracked Or Shattered Screen

#1. A Cracked Screen Can Easily Turn Into A Shattered Screen

If your phone is cracked, even slightly, it is at a much greater risk for completely shattering. It can shatter if you drop it, but it can also shatter from practically nothing at all. For instance, you simply set it down on your desk and suddenly the entire phone screen is in 10 million pieces.

#2. Your Phone Could Become Badly Damaged

Without the full protection of your screen, it’s very easy for major components to break. For instance, the digitizer is located directly behind your screen; this important component is responsible for interpreting your touch on the screen. When your screen is cracked, part of the digitizer is left exposed to things like dust, water and debris, all of which are capable of creating a lot of damage. Give it some time and it’s very likely that the digitizer will break, leaving you with far greater repairs to contend with.

Actual pieces of your phone’s screen can also get lodged deep into different parts of your phone, creating damage.

#3. The Glass Can Cut You

The glass can be sharp and cut you or create injury elsewhere. The glass could even embed into your skin. A single cut might not seem so bad, but imagine a bunch of tiny glass shards stuck in the tip of your finger.

#4. Decreases Phone Value

If you decide to sell your device it’s not going to be worth as much with a broken screen. By fixing your phone screen at the time it breaks, you actually help protect the long-term value of your device.

#5. It Looks Unprofessional

You carry your phone everywhere and people are going to notice if your screen is badly cracked. This can reflect negatively on you. It sounds silly but people make judgments based on anything they can gather from your outward appearance, including the state of your smartphone. Think about it: Would you trust someone you don’t know with your device if you saw that his/her smartphone was badly broken?

But I Just Can’t Fix My Broken Screen Right Now!

If money or time is too tight to fix your screen right this second, try using a screen protector to hold the cracks in place and prevent moisture from getting inside. It’s sort of like putting a Band-Aid on a broken bone, but it’s better than nothing.

Should I Try To Fix My Cracked Phone Screen At Home?

Some phones are easier to fix than others, with Apple phones leading the way in difficulty. We don’t recommend fixing your screen on your own unless you have a decent amount of experiencing fixing the type of phone you have. There’s just too much room for things to go wrong and your phone to break even worse. Plus, it’s not cheap to buy all of the accessories you need to fix it in the first place, and it’s difficult to determine the actual quality of replacement parts purchased online.

Affordable Phone Repairs At My Broken Phone

We can fix almost any broken screen on the spot and directly in front of you. We only use high quality replacement parts so that your device looks and functions as good as new post-repairs.

Why Are Scammers Calling My Phone?

There was a time when spam callers were reserved to your landline, but now scammers are calling cell phones left and right. You can get on a Do Not Call Registry to prevent legitimate businesses from calling you, but scammers are harder to avoid.

When Can A Business Legally Contact Me?

Unless you provide a company with written permission to call you or you recently did business with them, they are not legally permitted to call your phone. If you ask a company to stop calling you, they are legally obligated to honor this request.

Even if you are on the Do Not Call Registry (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0108-national-do-not-call-registry), you may still get calls from charitable organizations, political supporters, debt collection agencies, telephone surveyors, as well as informational calls. The Do Not Call Registry does not deter spammers and scammers.

What About Spam Text Messages?

If your phone is blowing up with advertisements or other forms of spam texts, know that any legitimate company is not permitted to do this unless they have received your permission to do so. That being said, you should never click any links or text back, even if it’s advertising a great prize or a sale on your favorite shoes. Otherwise, you could end up with malware on your device.

The ‘One Ring’ Scam

The FCC discovered a unique way scammers were getting people. They call your phone, let it ring once and then hang up, not giving you enough time to answer the call. These calls typically come from numbers with a 3-digit area code, and so they appear to be from a domestic number. They are not though; in fact they are international pay-per call phone numbers. Many people become tempted to dial the number back out of curiosity, and as a result they are automatically charged a fee for connecting. They are charged additionally for every minute they stay on the line.

The charges show up on your monthly bill as premium services.

Scams like this are increasingly popular. The best way to protect yourself is to never trust anything from a number you don’t know. If you don’t recognize the area code, let it go to voicemail. If you don’t know whom the person on the line is, don’t call back.

Repeat Callers

If the same number continues to bombard your phone, you can have the number blocked. More than likely though, a series of different numbers will continually call you. That’s because scammers are really good at spoofing their number so that every time they call a different number shows up. This makes it very difficult for the government to pinpoint, shut down and punish people behind the scams because they are not traceable to any one number.

How Do I Stop Random Numbers From Calling Me?

It’s nearly impossible to stop all unwanted phone calls. You can help prevent spam callers as much as possible by never giving out your phone number to any services with the potential to share your number with others. Numerous companies collect data and then sell it, making a profit off of your number. Before giving your information to just any company, contest or free giveaway, inquire if they keep your information confidential or sell it.

You can register to be on the national Do Not Call list FOR FREE. You can enroll online or by phone, call 1-888-382-1222 (voice) or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY). If you are registering by phone, know that you must call from the phone you wish to register. You can register up to 3 numbers in one application. To add additional numbers, simply fill out a secondary application.

I’m On The ‘No Call List’ & The Calls Won’t Stop!

If someone continues to harass your phone, you can make an official report by filing a complaint with donotcall.gov. You can also call the same number listed above for voice and TTY. You may not hear back about your case directly from the FTC. They receive far too many complaints each day to get back to everyone. That’s not to say you go ignored. The FTC has an extensive process used to identity trends and find illegal callers based on data collected from every last complaint. Hopefully, if enough people are experiencing the same issue, it will eventually get resolved. That being said, most cases do not have enough information to help investigators discover the source of the calls, especially because of spoof numbers. Yet, the more complaints they get against the same offender, the more likely they’ll eventually be able to figure it out and take action against the spammer.

Signs You May Have Purchased A Stolen Phone

There are a few ways to know if you purchased a stolen phone, including checking the IMEI numbers, a bad ESN, or the verbiage in the phone listing. Last year, 2.1 million Americans had their phones stolen according to a survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. An additional 3.1 million phones were reported lost. In other words, there are millions of stolen smartphones floating around out there. Many people turn to Ebay, Amazon and Craigslist to buy used phones, but there’s a lot of risk in doing so.

The first way to prevent purchasing a stolen device is to only buy your phone from a reputable used smartphone dealer, such as My Broken Phone. Otherwise, you’ll need to jump through a few hoops to ensure the device you purchase isn’t a stolen good. Here are some helpful tips for determining if a smartphone is stolen or not.

Here Are Signs You May Have Purchased A Stolen Phone

The Phone Has A Bad ESN

If the smartphone listing says the device has a “bad ESN,” it’s a pretty clear indication that the device is stolen. The ESN is the electronic serial number. A device with a bad ESN cannot be registered or activated with the carrier it was manufactured for.

Reasons for a bad ESN include:

-The previous phone owner got behind on payments.

-The termination fee was never paid.

-The device was reported as lost or stolen.

Don’t let the cheaper price lure you in, phones with a bad ESN are not worth the hassles or associated risks.

Check The Smartphone’s History

You can check a smartphone’s history by searching a database of smartphone IMEI numbers. If the phone is locked, only useable with one carrier, or you know which carrier the phone was originally used with, you might be able to call the carrier and find out if your particular device was ever reported lost or stolen. If none of those things work, there is a website called CheckMEND that allows you to search any smartphone’s history for just $2.99.

http://www.checkmend.com/

If you live in the UK, you can search through a huge database of phones via IMMOBILISE.com, the service is free and supported by most police forces. If you live in the US but purchased your phone overseas, this option may work for you.

https://www.immobilise.com

Is The Phone Wiped Of All Data?

Every seller should wipe all data off of the device prior to selling it, but that’s not always the case. If you are able to find photos, social media logins and other information on the device, this could tell you if the device was stolen, especially if the person’s information on the device doesn’t match up with the person that sold it to you.

In some cases, the phone is locked when you get it because the person that stole it didn’t know how to wipe out the device without the passcode. On the other hand, a completely wiped out device could signal a pro cellphone thief that knows what he or she is doing. Either way, if you suspect the device is stolen, see if there is any data left on the device that might hint one way or another, or even give you the ability to contact the former owner.

Are The Accessories Genuine?

If someone stole the device at a bar or restaurant, chances are they didn’t get away with the headphones and charger too. As a result, the device will come with off-brand cables, headset, charger and so forth, and more than likely it will not come in the original box. If someone is not selling the device with all genuine accessories, you should always ask why.

The Phone Doesn’t Work

If you’re trying to set up your new device with your SIM card only to receive a message that says something like: “There was a problem with the MEID/ESN provided,” it’s likely the device was stolen. This indicates the handset has been blocked.

Trace The Serial Number

Always ask for a device’s serial number, there is no reason why a seller should refuse to give it to you. If they do, look elsewhere for a phone. The serial number can be searched on websites like Trace (https://www.tracechecker.com/citizen) to see if it’s listed as stolen. If you’re searching for an iPhone, check the Activation Lock Status (https://www.icloud.com/activationlock/) to see if the service has been disabled and the device is ready for the next owner.

You Paid Way Below Value For The Device

Paying too little for a smartphone may indicate that the device is stolen. Otherwise, why would someone be willing to sell it for far less than comparable devices are selling for?

How To Prevent Buying Stolen Smartphones

Used phones can offer excellent value but not when purchased from unreliable or sketchy sources. Buying a phone from some mystery person online is loaded with risk, and you can never really be sure what you’re getting until after the device arrives and is paid for.

Skip the risk and head over to My Broken Phone, where you’ll find a vast variety of high quality used smartphones, including the latest and most popular models. You can rest assured when you buy your smartphone from us that you are getting a good deal on a certified used phone.

The New iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus

The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus take better pictures, come in new colors, and are splash and water-resistant. Plus, the two devices have excellent reviews on numerous online sites. Yet, just two months after the launch of the iPhone 7, analysts already predict demand for the phone has peaked and will dramatically decline in the coming months. Analysts believe the lack-luster demand has something to do with the fact the phone failed to wow users with improved specs. That being said, the new iPhones are still considered the nicest phones on the market right now according to industry experts.

That doesn’t mean the new iPhone is a complete bust by any means. People love the new camera and the option for black or jet-black finishes, as well as the splash and water-resistant qualities. And since when do the latest iPhones really offer all that many changes from previous models? Here’s a look at what’s changed with the iPhone 7 to help you decide if it’s the right new phone for you.

New Features Of The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

The New & Improved Home “Button”

The new home button is not really a button but more of a sensor that takes some getting used to. After you do get used to it, it’s intended to provide a much more responsive experience with better feedback and user functionality. You press it once to open your phone, twice to activate Apple Pay when the phone screen is off, and twice when the screen is on to activate multitasking mode.

New & Improved Camera

The iPhone 7 produces way better photos than previous models. The iPhone 7 Plus has two lenses, while the smaller iPhone 7 has one lens, which takes high-quality zooms up to 2x. The 7 Plus also comes equipped with a wide-angle and telephoto camera.

No Headphone Jack: Where The Jack Do The Headphones Go?

There’s no headphone jack on the latest iPhone 7. Instead, Apple has replaced it with two quality speakers at the bottom of the device. The phones come with an adapter you can use to play music with regular headphones. But unless you want to cart around an adapter all day, you’ll likely want to invest in some Bluetooth headphones.

Is The iPhone 7 Faster Than Previous Models?

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is a little bit faster than previous models, but nothing to write home about. While the iPhone 7 is clearly better than the 6, it’s not dramatically changed in any way. You can expect the same iPhone with some nice upgrades.

Is The Screen Tougher?

Sure, it’s advertised as the toughest screen to date, but I’ve already seen the screen crack firsthand. In other words, Apple’s devices are far from as strong as they should be to withstand constant daily use. While the screen still cracks, at least the latest device is splash and water-resistant!

Concerns About The New iPhones

Did The iPhone 7 Burn Someone?

Everyone may soon stop talking about the Samsung Galaxy Note7 device catching fire, considering the new iPhone 7 has reportedly burned a pregnant mother, among other users. Tan Pelaez fell asleep with her phone on the charger, tucked beneath her arm. When she woke up she experienced a tingling sensation and instantly knew something wasn’t right. When she looked down at her arm, she couldn’t believe the massive burns her iPhone left behind.

Pelaez has no doubt that her smartphone caused the burns. She said, “We matched the markings on my arm to the phone and charger.”

Pelaez has visited the emergency room twice and met with a plastic surgeon to discuss her options for dealing with the scars on her arm. Meanwhile, Apple is trying to dodge the bullet, saying there’s no way their phone caused the burn. Pelaez said, “Apple seems to think the phone isn’t to blame as it is designed to shut down, but my injury shows this isn’t the case. I’m just lucky because it could have been a lot worse.”

Apple offered Pelaez a new iPhone, but she declined citing, “I don’t trust the device anymore.”

Shortly thereafter, GizmoChina released a news report saying an iPhone 7 fell 1.6-feet, causing the phone’s battery to catch fire. The iPhone started vibrating as smoke began pouring out.

An Australian surf instructor reported that his iPhone caught fire while it was left in his car, casing his entire vehicle to go up flames.

And that’s not all; Twitter user Gareth Clear (@gareth_clear) shared a photo of his badly burned thigh, the result of his iPhone exploding in his back pocket after falling off his bike. The phone melted through two pairs of shorts and two layers of skin and his burns required skin graft surgery—yikes!

How To Protect Yourself When Buying A Used Phone

Buying a used phone can save you a considerable amount of money, but there are some risks involved. Used phones for sale might be broken, stolen, or even counterfeit.

You can limit your risks by buying a used phone from My Broken Phone. We sell a wide variety of used phones, including the latest and most popular smartphones on the market. As a reputable dealer, we only sell the highest quality used phones at fair prices, and you never have to worry about purchasing a stolen or counterfeit device.

Here Are Valuable Tips To Protect Yourself When Buying A Used Phone

Research the phone you want & how much it costs both new and used.

It’s important to identify how much the phone you want costs brand new as well as used. If the prices are not all that different, it might make more sense to buy the phone new with the full warranty.

New phone prices are pretty straightforward at any given time, but there’s no one-price-fits-all for used smartphones. The price point depends on the quality, usage and appearance of the device. Pick what type condition, megabytes and other details you want and then start researching those particular devices to find the best target price range.

This helps prevent you from getting ripped off in one of two ways. For one, you don’t want to buy a phone that is listed way below the normal asking price for no apparent reason. A super low price serves as a red flag that the phone is either stolen, fake, or not in proper working condition. Secondly, this prevents you from overpaying for a device you could have bought for a fraction of the cost elsewhere.

Keep in mind that used smartphone prices range depending on the popularity of the device, how new it is, as well as supply and demand.

Does the used phone come with the original charger, headphones and other accessories?

Inquire if the used phone comes with all of the original accessories, including headphones and charger. Otherwise, you’ll have to purchase these accessories out of pocket. Make sure to find out how much it will cost you on top of the phone’s purchase price, is it still a good deal? It’s important to ask why someone is selling a used phone without the original accessories, is it because the device is stolen?

Avoid purchasing a fake phone. Yes, there are LOTS of fake phones out there.

There are plenty of manufacturers out there making fake smartphones that imitate some of the most popular models on the market. While fake phones may appear exactly the same upon first look, pay close attention to details to notice the faults. The problem with buying used phones online is that the seller can upload photos of any device, making it all the more difficult to pinpoint a fake until after you purchase it.

Fake phones often have buttons in a slightly different location than the genuine model. Colors may be off and the size or spelling of the brand name may not be right. It won’t take long before the faults show through in regards to functionality. Fake phones purchased and sold on the black market are sub-standard and cheap imitations that will not operate as smoothly or quickly and may put your information at risk.

You can check the legitimacy of a phone’s IMEI number using this tool: http://www.numberingplans.com/?page=analysis&sub=imeinr

Find out if the phone is unlocked or can be used with your service provider.

A wireless carrier sells locked phones to only be used with their service, while an unlocked phone can be used with any carrier. New and used locked phones are generally cheaper than unlocked phones because of the limitations they impose. If you find a locked phone that works with your particular carrier, this might work out great for you. Always find out if a phone is locked or not before investing in a device you may not even be able to use.

Check the phone’s identification number to make sure it isn’t reported as lost or stolen.

Countless phones are stolen and then sold all around the world. Ask the sellers for the MEID, ESN or IMEI number and then search this number online, or call the carrier it was listed under to ensure the phone is not reported lost or stolen. Of course, this takes some extra work on your part and may not prevent the possibility of purchasing a stolen phone. The only way to know you are getting a legit used phone is to purchase it from a reputable source, such as My Broken Phone.