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.

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Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.