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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Keep your kindle serial number close


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Showing 1-20 of 20 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 11, 2013 2:46:57 PM PDT
Billy says:
I have been thinking about selling a Kindle Fire HD that I purchased a few months ago and just don't use too often. During the sales process I had a buyer ask for the serial number; which set off my internal scam alerts. In an effort to ease my concern of what might happen, I chatted with Amazon and they informed me that your Kindle can in fact be blacklisted with only the serial number details of your kindle.

If you too get this same or similar request from a kindle sale on ebay, craigslist, etc - Here's the reply I gave my buyer.

"I asked Amazon about your serial number request and they informed me that it is possible to claim the kindle as lost or stolen with the serial number. While I am happy to meet you in person somewhere in YourCityNameHere so you can see the Kindle working, I am not willing to risk giving out the serial number at this point. Hopefully you can appreciate the risk associated to blindly giving out this information, I want to be able to sell the Kindle in the future."

Me: I am trying to sell my kindle on craigslist and a buyer is asking for the serial numner. Would the potential buyer be able to get the kindle flagged as lost or stolen with this information?

Vaibhav: Hello, my name is Vaibhav, I'll be happy to help you.

Me: I don't want to worry about negative repercussions from providing a serial number for the device I am selling.

Vaibhav: MyName, you are correct. They can report the kindle as a lost or stolen kindle.

Me: In that scenario, would the kindle be blacklisted in some way so that it cannot be used?

Vaibhav: Yes.

Me: To confirm, all amazon requires is a serial number to report a kindle as lost or stolen and the device will become unusable?

Vaibhav: Yes. With a serial number they can blacklist the kindle.

Me: Ok. Thank you for confirming this for me.

Vaibhav: You're welcome, Is there anything else I can do for you today?

Me: No, I just wanted to be sure about what they could do with this information should I provide it to them.

Vaibhav: No, you should not provide the serial number of the kindle.
Thanks for visiting Amazon.com. We hope to see you again soon!
Have a good day ahead MyName!

Posted on Apr 11, 2013 2:50:51 PM PDT
can I see it from both sides - they want to make sure that they aren't buying a brick because it has been reported lost/stolen and you want to make sure that by providing the info that they do something like that

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 2:55:21 PM PDT
Yeah, but no. Before you could even ask Vaibhav your question, you'd already had to convince him that you are the Billy to whom that device is registered to, did you not?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 3:03:46 PM PDT
A. Dietz says:
Billy, thanks for posting this. It's very different information from what's been given to us in the past. I'm checking with the moderators to see if the policy has changed or if you were given incorrect information. I'll post back when I learn something. It's distressing to me to think that someone could deregister my Kindle just knowing my serial number and not knowing anything else about my account.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 3:11:07 PM PDT
King Al says:
I find that rep's answer hard to believe. The blacklist requester should have to verify that he is the registered owner of the account in question.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 4:09:00 PM PDT
I suspect that logging in was part of the process, but they certainly should be double-checking the caller's identity too.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 5:02:39 PM PDT
A. Dietz says:
I agree King Al, and I'm trying to follow-up with someone from Amazon who can give us an "official" answer.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 5:13:37 PM PDT
It seems to be a catch 22.
If you give the SN out, someone could conceivably report your own Kindle as theirs that was stolen.

On the other hand, if you are buying a used one from a private seller, you could be buying a brick if you cannot check the SN to see if the unit was stolen.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 5:21:18 PM PDT
"If you give the SN out, someone could conceivably report your own Kindle as theirs that was stolen."

Well, yes, but why would they? I mean, why would they brick a device and then buy it?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 5:25:00 PM PDT
The unit is only bricked if the original owner has Amazon brick it. Do you really think that the police would not recover an item that someone said was stolen and could provide the SN for?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 5:25:32 PM PDT
A. Dietz says:
Just to show that they can? ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 5:35:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 11, 2013 5:37:14 PM PDT
Right, so if only the Amazon-registered owner can brick it, what use would it be for a prospective buyer (PB) to report the kindle as stolen (and not buy it or brick it)? Because all that would happen is that the owner would suddenly find they can't access stuff, ring CS, get told it had been reported as stolen, and be able to verify that they're the owner and it was a false report.

Or, the PB reports it as stolen and then buys it - for what? What's the point of reporting it stolen if you're going to buy it? Because if the PB buys it, the owner is going to deregister it anyway, and there's no reason for them to prevent the kindle from working for the new owner if they've paid for the device.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 5:46:06 PM PDT
You can brick a Kindle by calling CS, giving the SN and reporting it stolen. I give up. Give your Kindle SN to anyone you choose. Enjoy.

Posted on Apr 11, 2013 6:04:26 PM PDT
I'm sure Amazon would verify that you were the rightful owner, before they would brick a lost Kindle. There is no way they would do that with only a serial number. There must be a verification process.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 6:11:10 PM PDT
Meya, I wouldn't have bothered with the keystrokes. A friend bricked hers using nothing but the SN and nothing else, according to her. I was shocked that no one even asked anything else of her. Maybe proper protocol wasn't followed. I have no idea. Regardless, I personally would not give out the SN of any of our Kindle devices.

Posted on Apr 11, 2013 6:37:32 PM PDT
When i call amazon on the phone they always ask my account email address.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 6:44:41 PM PDT
Same for me. She said she gave them her name, told them she left her Kindle in the seat pouch on the plane and gave them the SN. No home address or e-mail address.

Posted on Apr 11, 2013 7:01:45 PM PDT
there was an article I read a couple of weeks ago, about how a guy had his identity stolen by wanna-be hackers and the first step was getting a new password to his amazon account - which gave him the last 4 digits of a credit card...and so on

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2013 9:32:22 PM PDT
So you don't know whether Amazon actually cross-checked her name with the serial number, or even whether they *did* get further info that she just didn't realise was identifying (I had something similar come up only recently, where a friend vowed Amazon hadn't checked his identity before giving out info - when I got him to repeat the whole conversation it turned out they'd asked for some piece of info he wouldn't have known unless he was the account holder, and he hadn't realised its relevance).

Look, I'm NOT arguing for giving out one's S/N willy-nilly; I'm just trying to work out exactly how you think a PB could actually use it. *You* said "The unit is only bricked if the original owner has Amazon brick it." and gave a reason why it's that way. I only asked, IF that is true then how could a PB brick it, and if they couldn't, what negative use you thought they could make of the S/N.

You subsequently said "You can brick a Kindle by calling CS, giving the SN and reporting it stolen." and "A friend bricked hers using nothing but the SN and nothing else", with the implication that that meant anyone could brick it.

So which do you think it is that can brick a kindle - anyone? Or just the "original owner"? If it's only the original owner, how is it dangerous to give a PB the S/N? And if it's anyone, how is it to a PB's advantage to brick something they presumably want to either use or give/sell to someone else?

There's no sense in getting annoyed with someone who doesn't understand what you mean when what you're saying is so clearly internally contradictory.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2013 10:26:23 AM PDT
A. Dietz says:
Here's an update from Amazon customer service. Note that someone can NOT just call Amazon and have your Kindle deregistered if all they have is the serial number.

"Rest assured, we do require additional verification information from customers. Calling Customer Support with only a Kindle serial number won't get a scammer anywhere. We do still strongly suggest that folks keep their serial numbers private; we want to make sure customers are not posting the number online. If a Kindle has been reported to us as lost or stolen, we will deregister the device and not allow it to be registered by someone else."
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  20
Initial post:  Apr 11, 2013
Latest post:  Apr 12, 2013

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