LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- A mother of a disappointed 13-year-old is warning others after her son spent $300 on what he thought was a Samsung Galaxy S8 phone, only to find out it was a clone.
Nicole Pedersen's son searched through second-hand sites such as Craigslist, OfferUp and Letgo to find a Samsung Galaxy S8 for the right price.
Pedersen said her son and her boyfriend drove to Parker to purchase the phone from a seller offering $300.
Pedersen said her son and boyfriend tested it out -- the phone turned on, connected to Wi-Fi and they were able to use the internet on it -- so her 13-year-old paid the seller the agreed-upon amount.
However, when her son brought it home, Pedersen started noticing subtle differences.
The edges of the screen were square and not curved, and the operating system was not as sophisticated as her own Samsung phone.
"The screen didn’t look right and I was like this is crazy," Pedersen said. "Then I took it to T-Mobile and he was like this is clone and I didn’t have a clue about it."
After learning it was a clone, Pedersen started researching online.
She found websites selling clones as well as videos from tech experts detailing subtle difference between a real Samsung phone and a clone.
Even in the videos, tech experts warned that without a real phone to compare a clone with, it's challenging to spot the differences.
"If you don’t have the two together, you wouldn’t know," Pedersen said.
The clone phones retail for $100 online. Pedersen said while they could get a SIM card for her son's new phone, it's not what he paid for and that's frustrating.
"The thing that gets me is it’s my son who spent his hard-earned money at [age] 13 to buy this," Pedersen said.
Pedersen hopes their story helps others looking to purchase Samsung phones off second-hand sites in the future.
"I just want people to know it’s out there," Pedersen said.
The seller told the 13-year-old that if he had any issues with the phone, he could contact them and get his money back.
However, since learning it was a clone and following up, the seller has stopped responding and blocked Pedersen.