By Shane Wilson
Dealer fraud, costing an estimated $3.35 Billion a year, is one of the top five frauds perpetuated against the mobile industry. The ease with which fraudsters are able to generate considerable sums of money was recently illustrated by a gang of six London students who conned Belfast and Ballymena businesses into providing at least £18,000 worth of the latest smartphones in just one weekend.
The scam saw the gang use fake credit cards to sign up to multiple contracts which then provided them with high-value iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy models. The intent was then to either pass on or sell on the devices for cash.
The students claim that none of the six were the organisers, but were to be paid by an as yet unidentified criminal third party.
The stores appear to be partly to blame for the ease of the con. Staff were seemingly unaware of this common fraud, or worse, failed to question suspicious transactions, in this case multiple subscriptions from a group, because they were on commission.
Once again, it appears that the industry at large needs to take better steps at educating staff and third party partners to the growing threats from a variety of frauds which seriously impact on operational costs.