What you've got there is the latest version of what used to be called an R-SIM adapter. You can see additional examples here.
The way these adapters work is by tricking the phone into thinking it's unlocked to accept any SIM card, when in reality it could still be locked to the previous carrier. You use a different carrier SIM behind that adapter, and the adapter tricks the phone into connecting to a network it's not supposed to without being unlocked.
Apple locks their phones with a bit of server communication called an "Activation Policy". If the SIM card you've inserted doesn't match the Activation Policy on file at Apple, the phone won't work with the SIM card. These adapters claim (but I've not had luck with them) to bypass that restriction to allow SIM cards with different Activation Policies prior to the phone being unlocked. Again, in my experience, they don't work great, if at all.
I couldn't find any purchase history on your account based on this phone, so I can't give you a clear answer, but this is highly unlikely to be a phone from our shop, as all the GSM and multi-network phones we sell there are already unlocked and do not need a special adapter.
If you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and put my name in the subject line, I can take a look at the history of this phone on Ting to see exactly what's going on. Make sure to include the IMEI of the phone in your email, and the email address on your Ting account, as I can't find one with the email address you used in this forum post.