A global scam which involved almost 1,000 mobile phones, where most of them were iPhones has been shut down by British police. Earlier today eight men and one woman were arrested of conspiracy to defraud following a series of raids across England.
Adam Gabbatt of Guardian.co.uk is reporting that the gang of West Africans purchased the phones on contract from high street stores using false identities. The sim cards were sent abroad and put into automatic dialing machines, these then constantly called premium lines which were owned by the gang that charged up to £10 a minute.
Thousands of pounds in cash, hundreds of SIM cards, and fake documentation were also seized in the raids. SIM cards quickly ran up large bills that were paid by the phone networks, but when they contacted the registered owners it was found they had been victim of identity fraud.
In July alone one network affected by the scam O2 lost £1.2m through the premium phone lines. iPhones were the most popular choice for the gang because of their high resale value, and were sold on through a middleman. Stolen SIM cards and handsets were traced across the globe from continental Europe, the Middle East and Vietnam.