We’ve seen pretty wild iPhone thefts in the past, some involving serious injury, but you just know it’s bad when Interpol gets involved. Thousands of iPhone 3GS’ were stolen from a Belgian warehouse through a hole in the roof directly above the smartphones, and they’re now surfacing in Russia. The iPhone 3GS is definitely going to be a hot commodity there because of the vast grey/black market and because the 3GS hasn’t been officially released in Russia. If you’re planning on grabbing one of the hot phones, you should think twice. Interpol already has a list of the IMEI numbers on the stolen phones so it’s a matter of time before people start getting caught. We’re just wondering how many of those iPhones might be recovered. More →
Funny, usually it’s the carriers doing the robbing. According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, eight men were indicted yesterday for allegedly using customer data to swindle AT&T and T-Mobile USA out of roughly $22 million worth of cell phones. Two former cell phone shop owners from Brooklyn, NY and six others have been formally charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft surrounding the scam. The men reportedly used dealer access to the carriers’ systems in order to obtain customer data, and then used the identities of said customers to obtain handsets without paying for them. If convicted, the perpetrators face up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy charge alone. Key takeaway: if the recession has hit your cell phone shop hard, it’s probably a good idea to seek out a new line of work rather than exploiting your customers and scamming your suppliers. Just saying.
As sad as it is, it should be no surprise to anyone that theft is a pretty regular occurrence in the electronics industry. Though most mobile retailers take plenty of measures to prevent losses, it’s not possible to keep it from happening 100% of the time. When you’re dealing with third-party retailers and authorized dealers it really becomes difficult to keep all inventory safe as the carrier. So, Rogers is allegedly going to begin taking advantage of an EIR, or Equipment Identity Register, which logs reports of stolen mobile devices and keeps them from being used. According to an internal Rogers document courtesy of one of our ninjas, if a phone is stolen and the IMEI is identified, Rogers will input it into the international registry which prevents it from being used on over 40 GSM networks worldwide. Unless you’re in some obscure country that uses a tiny GSM network, consider yourself out of luck if you have a stolen Rogers device in your hands. For Rogers, the days of the five-finger-discount are over. Hit the link for a copy of the internal document detailing the deterrence plan.
Fresh on the heels of last week’s announcement that they lost confidential data for 17 million customers, T-Mobile on Saturday confirmed that an error in their system exposed the confidential data for 30 million customers. The data breach which included bank account information was easy to access and manipulate online. T-Mobile quietly introduced a new security system on Friday that immediately closed the security hole and assured customers that no theft of the exposed data had occurred. After last week’s revelation and now this security breach, sounds like T-Mobile should spend more time shoring up their customer database and less time pushing phones out the door .
Deutsche Telekom admitted Saturday that a security breach in 2006 led to the theft of confidential data belonging to 17 million T-Mobile customers. The stolen data included birth dates, telephone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. Bank details were not part of the theft. According to statements made by T-Mobile, the data continues to circulate but has not been sold:
“According to our information, even though these details have been put up for sale on the black market, there has not been a buyer.”
Yikes! T-Mobile added that current customers should not be concerned as security procedures have been increased since the theft occurred. We sure hope so. The theft is now part of a judicial inquiry with the German Police and T-Mobile working together “for weeks” to protect the customers affected by the theft. Two years later and now you’re trying to contain the damage? Sounds like that is a little too little and little too late for 17 million of T-Mobile’s customers.