Our attention was drawn to an article published by Norfolk Police in the UK regarding another mobile phone fraud scam.
An elderly man received three mobile phones in the post. He had the good sense to contact the network operator that had sent these and advise them that he had not ordered them. He also sent them back immediately.
Later that day a man called him claiming that the phones had been delivered to him in error and asking whether he could collect them from the elderly gentleman. The scam now became clear. Fraudsters had stolen the elderly gentleman’s identity and used this to create the fake order.
Fortunately on this occasion no harm was done, but it is easy to forget that a new mobile phone is worth more than many televisions. According to GSM Exchange, in July 2013 the five top selling phones in Europe were:
The Apple iPhone 5 16GB
The Samsung Galaxy S3
The Samsung Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
The Samsung Galaxy Note II
To buy these five phones would cost more than £2100. Even if a fraudster was to get half the value of these new phones, a simple scam like this can generate £1000 every time it is perpetrated. And it is perpetrated hundreds of times a day.
So much of modern life is accessible through easily accessible information: our name; address; telephone number; even bank account details. It is easy to forget that this is exactly the information fraudsters need to create this kind of scam. The portability and desirability of mobile handsets makes them an ideal target for modern day thieves.