The Wall Street Journal reported that eight men were indicted last week of conning AT&T and T-mobile out of free handsets. The accused — two of whom used to run cell phone stores in Brooklyn, NY — allegedly used dealer access to tap the carriers’ systems. Once inside, authorities believe they obtained customer data, and then used those stolen identities to get the phones for free.
This isn’t a digital smash-and-grab of a few fraudulently obtained devices. They milked the carriers out of a mountain of handsets worth [cue Dr. Evil voice] 22 MILLION dollars.
The men were charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, the conspiracy charge alone could put them in the big house for up to 20 years.
I say, “Good.”
Things like this affect every customer of wireless carriers. It’s tough enough to stomach the thought of our personal info winding up in the hands of thugs. But we also wind up paying higher cellular fees, due to these and lesser scams — whether that’s for business insurance expenses, security system overhauls, or just plain old loss recovery. So one way or the other, we wind up getting ripped off.
I hope they get the book thrown at them.
[via BoyGenius Report]