Fans of Apple products should be on the look out for scams if they are looking at buying a new product. One major target has been iPhones, which are the target of thieves because of their high value. When buying a phone, customers should be careful to ensure they are not purchasing a stolen item.
In many countries around the world the iPhone device is sold but it is attached to one network, meaning that it cannot be used with any other SIM card. To use a different network the owner will have to get the phone unlocked. A con has been reported in the US where people are being paid by strangers to go to the Apple store with them. Here the stranger will buy several phones, all with their own money and all the victim does is have to fill in some basic personal information. The stranger will pay the victim a small amount of money and leave with the phone they paid for.
The problem is that the victim will end up having to pay the bills for the phones the stranger now has. A problem with the legal system in the US is that this is legal, as long as the victim willingly provides the information. Organised crime in the US has been associated with the theft of iPhones and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has recently arrested workers at a phone store who have been buying and selling stolen iPhones in large quantities.
Another scam that has been seen in the UK is people purchasing phones with false identities and then selling the phones which they obtained for a reduced cost as they were tied to a contract deal. There have been reports that millions of pounds have been made by fraudsters at a great cost to mobile phone companies.
As well as these street scams there are many others being operated online. Several websites claim to be giving away free iPhones but they do not turn up. Online auctions have also seen buyers being stiffed. Buyers would be recommended to only buy from reputable shops.