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I'm searching used Macs to buy in eBay. Some of the offered items show the computer's serial numbers in screenshots and/or plain text.

Reading the Q&A Where to find factory list in apple serial number, we see this snippet from EveryMac.com (emphasis on the original):

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Why not? What are the risks of buying a Mac whose serial number has been shared on the Internet?

3 Answers 3

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I'm unaware of any risks to the owner directly, but of course the serial number is a unique number that identifies that particular Mac.

Fraudsters are very creative, and it's possible that they could find ways to use the serial, either by pretending to be the owner (e.g. selling a Mac they don't have); or by pretending to be Apple. "Are you the owner of xxxxxx? There's a refund due to a manufacturing defect -- just enter your CC details...."

It's good practice to avoid posting serial numbers where anyone can harvest them, to reduce potential scams for everyone, not just for the legitimate owner.

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If you have AppleCare phone support, one could, in theory, use your serial number to contact AppleCare for free support. Otherwise, there's no risk to sharing a serial number when selling your Mac.

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Just throwing my 2 cents in there,

someone could possibly claim it as theirs, and stolen. *shrugs

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  • I think this would require proof of ownership (e.g. invoice) otherwise this would open a floodgate of abuse May 28, 2021 at 7:02
  • There's and old saying: possession is nine tenths of the law.
    – Allan
    Feb 1, 2023 at 15:29

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