Sleep with that noise: a scam involving a pair of students and an enormous amount of fake iPhones has given Apple an almost millionaire loss in the US state of Oregon. Can you believe? See below the story brought by Oregon Live.
The protagonists of the story are Quan Jiang and Yangyang Zhou, two engineering students from a state university. Both Chinese, the youngsters received counterfeit iPhones (each costing around US $ 30) from their country of origin and sent them to Apple, saying that the devices – according to them, under warranty – were broken and no longer turned on.
If you think that young people have repeated the process a few dozen times, you can readjust your expectations: there were more than 3,000 (!) Fake iPhones sent to Apple, of which about 1,400 they were replaced by Apple with original devices – which, in turn, were sent back to China and resold at prices about 20 times higher. Young people received part of that amount.
A representative of Apple, in a hearing judging the crime, explained why the coup worked for so long. When Apple receives an inoperative iPhone, it cannot be quickly checked or examined by the company’s technicians; as Cupertino’s policy is to solve the consumer problem as quickly as possible, new devices were sent to young people as soon as the exchange order was approved, before the deeper inspections.
It is not yet clear how the young people (or rather, the real operators of the scheme, back in China) managed to obtain more than 3,000 original iPhones serial numbers to authenticate the counterfeit devices. Students admitted to receiving boxes of 20 or 30 devices on a regular basis – which was precisely what attracted the attention of customs, which began investigating the case in April 2017.
Apple claimed to have lost about $ 895k with the fraud, but the defense of one of the students, Zhou, said the young man was unaware that he was committing a crime – he said he had not even received letters from Apple and US customs notifying him of the case .
The Portland District Court will hear the case over the next few weeks, and young people – who are in the U.S. on student visas – are bound to have to return to China. The investigation is unlikely to reach the real heads of fraud, however.