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Five arrested and 12 million in losses due to a fake iPhone repair scheme

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United States authorities have arrested five people involved in a scam that has cost Apple more than 12 million euros. The detainees would have created a system to deliver fake iPhones that did not work to the company to receive real units in exchange that they would later sell to get money. According to several reports, this could have been repeated more than 16,000 times from December 2014 to March 2024, but the actors have already been arrested and the case is ready to be tried soon.

Friends of other people's affairs always look for illegal ways to make money, and Apple is a very interesting company for them because their products are expensive and sell very well. Therefore, it is not surprising that they manage a thousand different ways to obtain them and then sell them. Many choose the traditional route of entering a Apple Store and start snatching phones from display stands. The problem is that these devices work with special software that renders them useless when disconnected from the store's Wi-Fi network, and sends their location to Apple and the competent authorities to make it easier to locate the thief. However, and even though it is totally useless, these thefts happen more frequently than it seems.

They exchanged fake iPhones for authentic ones and hoped Apple wouldn't notice

Apple Store blanco y negro

Even so, there are some thieves who have a slightly better system, but they end up getting caught. This is the case of these five people, who worked with a team in China that supplied them with fake iPhones that did not work, with serial numbers stolen from legitimate devices with AppleCare hired to get their fake iPhone replaced with a real one. They moved around the different Apple Stores in California to avoid being caught or being suspected. Then, when they got the replacement, which was already working and was a real iPhone, they would sell it and split the profits.

According to the case notes, it is estimated that this has caused Apple damage of more than 12 million euros. Furthermore, not only would they have done this with the iPhone – although it was the main device – but they would also have used the iPad and other devices. counterfeit Apple products to get them exchanged for real units. The company surely realized this when going to repair those defective devices that they had received from these people, since when they were opened they would not look anything like the original iPhone.

In any case, the case is already in the hands of justice, which will now have to rule whether these five subjects are guilty or not. If they end up understanding it this way, in addition to the fine they will have to pay, it will be a few years between bars reflecting on whether all this operation was really worth it. What is clear is that sooner or later they were going to end up getting caught, and that's how it ended up being.

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