DJI Mavic, Air and Mini Drones
Friendly, Helpful & Knowledgeable Community
Join Us Now

Purchased what seems to be a stolen M3, DJI is aware, now looking for maintenance advice

It's possible that there is information on the SD card that can Identified the location of the person that sold it to you or the location and ID of the registered owner. Even if the card has been formatted it is possible to recover old files from the disk. One of those files my be a photo and or location of the owner. The below program is very successful in recovering previously deleted files and may help your cause.

1712164536896.png
 
Last edited:
After the quick flight he requested to clear his info off the device. I said I understand.
I figured perhaps he was deleting flight paths and records & taking his sd card out.
Are you thinking he did something nefarious to the drone after you concluded your quick flight and handed the drone back to him? Did you check to see if the drone was bound during your quick flight?
 
It's possible that there is information on the SD card that can Identified the location of the person that sold it to you or the location and ID of the registered owner. Even if the card has been formatted it is possible to recover old files from the disk. One of those files my be a photo and or location of the owner. The below program is very successful in recovering previously deleted files and may help your cause.
Even if a name and address is provided telling him the ID of seller, nothing much he can do at this point unless we want to try some sort of small claims court action. My guess a hand-to-hand transaction in the park for cash is "as is." He paid with cashapp so the money is completely gone. I guess he can try to find out the identify of the $cashapp$ recipient but cashapp works both ways, it protects *both* sides from further action after the transaction is completed regardless of the intent.

The registered owner has already refused to unlock the drone. Unless he is willing to simply return the drone and maybe hope for a break or a finders fee to cut his losses, not much to be gained from tracking down the original owner either.
 
  • Like
Reactions: J. Dub
@J. Dub, sorry to say the logout is coming, guaranteed. At that point you'll have 5 more flights, and then it will be a paperweight.

We've been trying to figure out what the algorithm / conditions are that result in the logout for some time on the forum, and AFAIK it's still a bit unclear. Regardless, it's a customer security feature to discourage theft, and it's gonna happen at some point.
 
  • Wow
Reactions: J. Dub
It's possible that there is information on the SD card that can Identified the location of the person that sold it to you or the location and ID of the registered owner. Even if the card has been formatted it is possible to recover old files from the disk. One of those files my be a photo and or location of the owner. The below program is very successful in recovering previously deleted files and may help your cause.

View attachment 174018
Certainly true. (I work in IT)
However, there was no SD card present in the RC controller nor in the M3 unfortunately. But even then. Odd, that DJI's email to me said return to the seller.
I figured they would have said send us the drone because it's been stolen.
And even more oddly, I can still fly this thing. Which is great, for now because it's not a total loss on my money but still a bummer because I can't upgrade to an RC Pro.
 
Are you thinking he did something nefarious to the drone after you concluded your quick flight and handed the drone back to him? Did you check to see if the drone was bound during your quick flight?
Hard to say really. I had assumed he was just deleting his flight logs.
And on my stupidity, I never even thought about checking for the bound account.

The lesson I've learned here is to try not to save money next time I purchase a drone and for peace of mind, just order direct from DJI I suppose.
 
Even if a name and address is provided telling him the ID of seller, nothing much he can do at this point unless we want to try some sort of small claims court action. My guess a hand-to-hand transaction in the park for cash is "as is." He paid with cashapp so the money is completely gone. I guess he can try to find out the identify of the $cashapp$ recipient but cashapp works both ways, it protects *both* sides from further action after the transaction is completed regardless of the intent.

The registered owner has already refused to unlock the drone. Unless he is willing to simply return the drone and maybe hope for a break or a finders fee to cut his losses, not much to be gained from tracking down the original owner either.
True. In fact I asked CashApp about it and gave them the police report... Crickets from cashApp. And it's been some days since.
 
@J. Dub, sorry to say the logout is coming, guaranteed. At that point you'll have 5 more flights, and then it will be a paperweight.

We've been trying to figure out what the algorithm / conditions are that result in the logout for some time on the forum, and AFAIK it's still a bit unclear. Regardless, it's a customer security feature to discourage theft, and it's gonna happen at some point.
Whoa now that is wild. I had no idea DJI auto logs out customers.
So this is starting a whole other topic I am interested in, what does DJI do if I am the original owner of a drone and I forget my login?
 
I figured they would have said send us the drone because it's been stolen.
DJI does not handle or process stolen drones. It's not part of their business model. They only know if the drone is "reported" stolen to them (unless it was stolen from them). They have no idea if the drone was actually stolen. If I called DJI and reported your drone s/n as stolen, you think they would take action against your drone? Half the drones sold by DJI are probably in someone else's possession (right or wrong) aside from the first purchaser.
 
  • Like
Reactions: J. Dub
Whoa now that is wild. I had no idea DJI auto logs out customers.
So this is starting a whole other topic I am interested in, what does DJI do if I am the original owner of a drone and I forget my login?
What happens if the original owner changes their password, does it log you out and ask for password?

If you are the current owner logged in and you forget your password, click on the "forget password" button. If you forget your login (email), DJI will send a reminder email to the email on record and if that's you.....done.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cafguy and J. Dub
DJI does not handle or process stolen drones. It's not part of their business model. They only know if the drone is "reported" stolen to them (unless it was stolen from them). They have no idea if the drone was actually stolen. If I called DJI and reported your drone s/n as stolen, you think they would take action against your drone? Half the drones sold by DJI are probably in someone else's possession (right or wrong) aside from the first purchaser.
Excellent point M3USA as always. I can't thank you enough for your feedback these past 24 hours.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mavic3usa
What happens if the original owner changes their password, does it log you out and ask for password?

If you are the current owner logged in and you forget your password, click on the "forget password" button. If you forget your login (email), DJI will send a reminder email to the email on record and if that's you.....done.
Makes sense.
Sounds like if original owner changes their password, I'm done for & this is now an almost $1500 paperweight.
 
If DJI said to send in for a refund, I would call them and ask if they will give you DJI credit....if yes...just send it in, pay the difference and get a new drone...it sounds like you may have gotten some accessories ( batteries for instance) that you would be able to utilize
 
If DJI said to send in for a refund, I would call them and ask if they will give you DJI credit....if yes...just send it in, pay the difference and get a new drone...it sounds like you may have gotten some accessories ( batteries for instance) that you would be able to utilize
Well, I'd be happy to do that but they told me to send it back to the seller. Which is the person on Facebook I bought it from.
They never said to send it to them at DJI.
 
How long ago did this transaction take place?
3 weeks ago I purchased it. But then a couple of days went by that I realized the issue of it being bound. Reached out to DJI and after several days DJI advised me that they did contact the original owner but that they advise me to return the drone back to the seller for a refund because they will not unbound drone.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: MARK (LI)
So to me, that reads like the Drone has been stolen from the original owner.

The strange part is, I can still fly this. Just like normal. I'm just stuck w/ this RC controller and can't upgrade to an RC pro since the M3 is bound to this controller.
Some questions.
1) Whose account are you using to currently fly the drone ?
2) Whose account did you use to fly the drone during the test flight ?
3) Are you certain that the controller IS bound to the drone ?

Reasons for those questions.
3) I ask because I experimented with binding my mini 2 drones to my account, they DID NOT have care refresh. Whilst I was able to bind the drones to the chosen DJI account, I have several accounts, I COULD NOT bind any of the controllers to any of the drones, I could not and can not, find any place in the App to do that.
Once a drone was bound to my account I was able to use any of my DJI accounts to fly the drone and any of the controllers to fly the drone, including a spare controller.
I.e. the binding placed no restrictions on me or the drone at all.
I was greatly dissapointed with that and removed the binding.
From this experiment I presume there are at least two strengths of binding, one which does nothing and the other which can ultimately ground the drone.

1) & 2) If the drone and controller have the 'full strength' binding then, if you are not logged into the binding account I find it strange that you have not been at least warned that you are not using the 'correct' account and that the drone will be grounded after x flights unless you log into the 'correct' account.
This makes me wonder whether or not the drone has the weaker binding in which case I suspect that the controller is NOT bound to the drone.
You could perhaps post a screen capture of what the app shows concerning
a) the binding of the drone to a DJI account and
b) the binding of the controller to the drone.
If you do so perhaps those here with properly bound drones can comment on what they see.
Obviously mask or partially mask, serial numbers and email addresses.

If you used and are currently using the seller's account and that account was the account that set up the binding then surely you can use that login/account to undo the binding.

If it has been a while since you bought the drone and yet you have not been logged out of the App/account then it might be an idea to NOT update the App and equipment firmware.
Many people curse this automated "timed logout" and if it was introduced via updates you might have prior versions of the App and firmware.

Thought the drone need not be stolen, there are other explanations for the original owner's failure to respond, DJI could only ground the drone via an internet connection to the phone or controller, disable that connection and DJI can do nothing.
If you are using a phone i.e. you do not have a smart controller, then you can log into the App ( needs an internet connection ) without the App being connected to the equipment and consequently the equipment does not 'see' an internet connection. It is possible that in those circumstances DJI would not pass on a 'grounding order' but note that is speculation.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: J. Dub
Whoa now that is wild. I had no idea DJI auto logs out customers.
So this is starting a whole other topic I am interested in, what does DJI do if I am the original owner of a drone and I forget my login?

If you still have your email you can reset the password like just about any other site
 
If you still have your email you can reset the password like just about any other site
Agreed, but in the OP I mentioned that this drone I purchased is bound to another account. An account that isn't mine so I don't know the email address for it.
 
Some questions.
1) Whose account are you using to currently fly the drone ?
The original owners I believe.
2) Whose account did you use to fly the drone during the test flight ?
2) I have no idea. I never looked. He turned the drone on and the controller then handed it to me for the brief test flight.
3) Are you certain that the controller IS bound to the drone ?
Very certain because I have an air 2s and tried to link my controller to the mavic 3 and it would not stating it's bound to the other controller.
Reasons for those questions.
3) I ask because I experimented with binding my mini 2 drones to my account, they DID NOT have care refresh. Whilst I was able to bind the drones to the chosen DJI account, I have several accounts, I COULD NOT bind any of the controllers to any of the drones, I could not and can not, find any place in the App to do that.
Once a drone was bound to my account I was able to use any of my DJI accounts to fly the drone and any of the controllers to fly the drone, including a spare controller.
I.e. the binding placed no restrictions on me or the drone at all.
I was greatly dissapointed with that and removed the binding.
From this experiment I presume there are at least two strengths of binding, one which does nothing and the other which can ultimately ground the drone.

1) & 2) If the drone and controller have the 'full strength' binding then, if you are not logged into the binding account I find it strange that you have not been at least warned that you are not using the 'correct' account and that the drone will be grounded after x flights unless you log into the 'correct' account.
This makes me wonder whether or not the drone has the weaker binding in which case I suspect that the controller is NOT bound to the drone.
You could perhaps post a screen capture of what the app shows concerning
a) the binding of the drone to a DJI account and
b) the binding of the controller to the drone.
If you do so perhaps those here with properly bound drones can comment on what they see.
Obviously mask or partially mask, serial numbers and email addresses.

If you used and are currently using the seller's account and that account was the account that set up the binding then surely you can use that login/account to undo the binding.

If it has been a while since you bought the drone and yet you have not been logged out of the App/account then it might be an idea to NOT update the App and equipment firmware.
Many people curse this automated "timed logout" and if it was introduced via updates you might have prior versions of the App and firmware.

Thought the drone need not be stolen, there are other explanations for the original owner's failure to respond, DJI could only ground the drone via an internet connection to the phone or controller, disable that connection and DJI can do nothing.
If you are using a phone i.e. you do not have a smart controller, then you can log into the App ( needs an internet connection ) without the App being connected to the equipment and consequently the equipment does not 'see' an internet connection. It is possible that in those circumstances DJI would not pass on a 'grounding order' but note that is speculation.
It's an RC controller. I see what you're saying. I answered your questions in green above. I'm not home but I'll put a video together.
I believe that the guy logged out of the account on the RC & thus I was unable to login & unbound it.
However, the DJI fly app made me log into my own account (separate from the DJI account) This is what allowed me to go beyond the 4 flight restrictions.
 
Lycus Tech Mavic Air 3 Case

DJI Drone Deals

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
131,763
Messages
1,566,134
Members
160,621
Latest member
GMvK