JoAnne Purtan reports on counterfeit phones in this Don't Waste Your Money report.
Samsung Galaxy smartphone
Smartphones are getting more expensive, as carriers start offering them without contract. You may have to pay $500 for one in the future. So more and more people are turning to eBay to find cheaper phones, but as one man learned, its easy to get burned by them. Discount Phone on eBay Marco Renk thinks of himself as tech savvy. So when he spotted a Samsung Note on eBay at $150 off list price, he couldn't pass it up. He bought the unlocked phone from a seller with great eBay feedback. But when he started checking out his new purchase, Renk noticed it was smaller than it should be. Some Things Not Right "I started measuring the screeen: it's 5.2 inches, not 5.5," he said. Another issue: The bottom button seemed to be in the wrong spot. Renk said "the space from the screen down to the bottom button there is much less on the right than on theft one." And the pen for tapping the keyboard didn't fit properly. A quick Google search alerted Renk to an epidemic of cheap knockoff Samsung phones from China being sold on Craigslist and eBay. Reports say they may work, but have less storage, slower speeds, and washed out displays. Seller Refuses Refund Renk contacted the seller, who denied the phone was a fake. So we got involved, and contacted eBay, which finally agreed to refund Renk's purchase price. Renk now wants to warn others: A discount smartphone from an unknown source could turn out to be an expensive paperweight. Make sure you know who you are buying from, so you don't waste your money. As always, don't waste your money. __________________________ Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co. "Like" John Matarese on Facebook Follow John on Twitter (@DWYM)