This was much easier in the days of analog TracFones...but yeah, not worth the risk. I actually bought a refurb'd 2285 and it activated without a problem, but it had no prepaid menu. I programmed it myself and it had unlimited minutes/text messages. I didn't use it too much since I wanted to sell it on eBay, so I just mailed it back to them for an exchange.
Castrol EDGE 5W-30 is my drug of choice.
Primary: iPhone 6 64GB, Galaxy Note 3, Lumia 635: 5 lines, 1x $15 5GB data, 2x $5 Android web, 1x $2.99 T-Zones, corp discount + $10/mo loyalty discount = $93/mo tax inclusive
Secondary: iPhone 4S & LG Ultimate 2: TracFone (Verizon)
Tablet: iPad Mini Retina w/ T-Mobile 4G LTE