Nine arrested in iPhone premium rate fraud

Nine people have been arrested over a complicated digital crime involving fraudulently-bought smartphones and premium rate phone numbers, according to City of London police.

Nine arrested in iPhone premium rate fraud

The scheme started with gang members buying iPhones and other handsets in stores and online using fake identities, so that they could ring up bills without being traced.

The SIM cards from the phones were used 24/7 to call international premium line telephone numbers costing up to £10 a minute that had been set-up by the same criminal gang, the police said.

The gang would then collect the money racked up through the premium rate number, and officers involved in the case said the syndicate was making more money by the day.

The police were only alerted to the problem when O2 went to them after suffering heavy losses from having to pick up the tab. The BBC reported that O2 lost £1.2 million in July alone, although the company told PC Pro it did not recognise the figures quoted.

“Our investigation found a crime gathering momentum. Each month more SIM cards were being used to make more phone calls to premium rate lines at more expense to the network provider,” a detective superintendent Bob Wishart of City of London Police.

“The criminal exploitation of the latest consumer technology is a recurring theme of our work. Our collaboration with O2 on this investigation highlights the benefits of how the private sector can work with the police to pro-actively target common threats to our communities.”

During the raids in London, Essex, the West Midlands and Middlesbrough, officers found £15,000 worth of mobile phones, many still in the boxes with the SIMs removed, along with hundreds of SIM cards, thousands of pounds, laptops and computers.

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos