If you thought a scam by students who stole almost $ 1 million from Apple with fake iPhones was too much, look at this: a gang in New York reportedly stole the equivalent of more than $ 19 million (about R $ 73 million) in iPhones over the past seven years, according to a new report by Quartz!
According to the publication, the six members of the gang were posing as American carrier customers to buy new iPhones and other Apple products at a discount. Then the criminals sold the phones on the black market, which helped them escape from the authorities for so long.
The victims of the scheme include countless customers whose identities were stolen by the gang, as well as the (unidentified) operators, who normally paid for the duck. The gang’s operations were relatively simple, according to the New York court case last April.
Thieves used fake identities and debit cards at operator stores and presented themselves as legitimate account holders to update their devices from loyalty programs or trade-in.
They then distributed payments over many months and, of course, surprised the real customer who, upon receiving the invoice, came across the account for a new, unsolicited device. When they tried to act, it was over: there were no more traces of scammers or devices bought illegitimately. To facilitate the scheme, the gang went through about 34 different American states, but most of the stolen devices were sold in the Bronx, New York district.
It was during one of the investigations by the American police that one of the criminals (responsible for transporting the devices) was captured and agreed to help the authorities in exchange for a reduction in sentence. Police have seized about 39 packages since then, which contained approximately 250 iPhones, as well as dozens of fake credit cards, driver’s licenses and passports.
Those accused of the scheme pleaded not guilty and were released on $ 100,000 bail (each) and are expected to await trial. Apple did not comment on the case.