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How to Check If a Laptop Is Stolen?

How to Check If a Laptop Is Stolen

“How to Check if a Laptop Is Stolen?” is the question of the day. Laptop theft is a big business for many thieves.

A good place to sell a stolen laptop is on online classifieds and sites like Craigslist or pawnshops. Most of us agree that stealing a computer is a bad thing to do, but many of us wouldn’t think twice about spending a lot of theft on a good computer.

But what price?

Buying a stolen laptop is a bad idea, whether you did it by accident or because you didn’t listen to your better judgment.

Let’s say the laptop has confidential information about an organization (personally identifiable information from customer information, privileged or private data).

What is your duty to warn or return this information or device?

And even if you can prove that you bought a used laptop in good faith, you won’t get it in the end. The police will give the computer back to the person who owns it, and you will lose the money you gave them.

Absolute finds and returns thousands of machines that have been stolen every year, so we know what the general rule is for buying a used machine.

There are also ways set up that experts use to find stolen laptops. If something doesn’t look right, it should be stopped.


Even though there aren’t really any telltale signs of theft, there are things to look out for when buying used.

  1. The seller doesn’t have any paperwork about the hardware.
  2. The Kensington lock slot is broken, which means the computer was probably ripped from its security cable.
  3. The power cord for the laptop is not included in the sale.
  4. The laptop is being sold for a price that seems low (most thieves are looking for a quick flip)
  5. The serial number is scratched out or covered up clearly.
  6. The laptop is password-protected
  7. There are clear signs of branding for a business (e.g. desktop, screen savers, naming schemes, stickers, etching, etc.)
  8. The seller won’t turn on or connect the laptop to the Internet (which would give security protections like Absolute the chance to connect and activate)

What do you need to know about a used laptop?

Even if the deal looks good, think about it first and do your research before you buy.

  1. Find out why the offer is being made. Why does the person selling the laptop lose it? For what did they use in the past? Look for stupid answers or descriptions that don’t make sense.
  2. Ask the seller where they bought the laptop the first time and where the manuals, receipts, etc. are.
  3. Send a copy of the purchase receipt. A good seller shouldn’t feel bad about that.
  4. Consider the fair market price. Is the machine sold for a price that seems too low?
  5. Use the laptop’s serial number to look up online theft reports or local police about the stolen computer.
  6. Request a laptop test drive. Connect it to the Internet. If Utter stole it and kept it, a delete/lock could be set up automatically, and a message would show up on the screen with instructions on how to get the stolen laptop back.

Absolute gives desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones constant visibility and power at the endpoint. Our defense is built into the plant in over 1 billion units and can’t be taken out or turned off.

If you need a computer for your business, buy a new one with self-healing endpoint protection from Absolute.

How to Check Out if a Laptop Has Been Stolen Before You Buy It

Make sure your used laptop wasn’t stolen because many stolen computers are sold back to people who don’t know they were stolen. Prey says that a quarter of the stolen devices it helps find were found after being sold online.

When you look at a laptop and ask about the owner’s paperwork, you can decide if it’s a good deal or not.


Please ask the buyer for paperwork, such as a receipt from the original purchase. Prey notices that fraudsters don’t steal receipts very often and have no proof that the laptop is
still owned.

Please also ask for a receipt to keep track of the money. The seller’s contact information should be on this receipt. There are a lot of legal sellers who would be happy
to get you.

Check for problems.

Check the laptop carefully for damage, which could cause any anti-theft system to delete the laptop forcibly.

Some laptops have a lock slot, which looks like a small, round rectangle but is a little bigger than a port link.

If the anti-theft cable has been disconnected without a key, the port will show damaged signals.

Keys and information

Ask the person selling the laptop to open it. If the laptop needs a password to log in, make sure the seller knows it so that it can’t be stolen. Even if there is no password, look through the papers, pictures, and videos folders to see if there is any information there.

Most people would delete this information before selling their machines to protect their privacy. Don’t be afraid to ask about anything else you need to know.

If the seller tells a strange story or isn’t in any of the pictures, he might be robbed.

Serial numbers and brand names

The laptop’s serial number should be easy to see and should not be changed. The seller may also ask for the serial number before a sale and check with law enforcement or the original manufacturer to see if the number is listed as stolen in their databases.

Check for signs of branding, like the company logo on the wallpaper or screensaver, stickers, or etchings on the laptop, that show who the laptop’s original owner was.

FAQS on How to Check if a Laptop Is Stolen

Can the serial number of a laptop be used to find it?

No. Your laptop can’t be found by using its MAC address or serial number.
To keep track of it, you need a special program. Something went wrong. Then enter some information about your laptop and sign up.

How do I check out if something has been stolen?

Another way to keep track of who owns the equipment is to ask for or scan the device’s serial number or PIN (Product Identification Number).

If you know the item’s unique number, you can check with your local police department or service to see if the item has been stolen.

Can someone stop using a stolen laptop?

Sorry, you can’t block the laptop. It’s time to change your login password or get rid of your account if you use mobile internet.

It’s also time to change the passwords on any accounts that could be in danger because your laptop was stolen.

How do pawn shops check out if an item has been stolen?

Pawnshops use an online database that tracks items by serial number. In the past, law enforcement had to go into the pawn shops and look at the items for themselves, then compare them to the most recent stolen property records. They now use this database everywhere.

Conclusion Of How to check if a laptop is stolen

Finally, how can you tell if a laptop has been stolen? To help you, we would like to offer our support. Check to see if the previous owner’s data is still present on a secondhand laptop before purchasing it.

If you believe this data is not yours, get in touch with your neighborhood police station to see if they have any knowledge of missing computers. If you got a new laptop from a reliable retailer, you shouldn’t be worried.

Related: How To Find Laptop Model Number Dell

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Avatar for William Larson

William Larson is a computer engineering graduate and a techy writer and a laptop enthusiast based in New York who is the man behind BestLaptopsVenture.com, where he reviews and writes professionally about laptops & cutting-edge technology with more than 12 years of experience in the industry. He tends to spend most of his time researching the best laptops. His love for studying laptops enables him to assist others to find the best laptops. He has written and managed content for tech websites like Laptops, Computers, T-Sprint, and TracFone Wireless, etc. On YouTube, he reviews laptops, How to guides, Tips, peripherals, and hold giveaways. You can follow him on Twitter.

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