Two Men Busted Trying to Fraudulently Purchase Over $16,000 Worth of Apple Products
According to a recent report, two men in New York were able to buy over $16,000 in Apple iPhones and other Apple products from a series of Verizon stores in Northeast Ohio.
According to a recent report, two men in New York were able to buy over $16,000 in Apple iPhones and other Apple products from a series of Verizon stores in Northeast Ohio.Of course, they didn’t spend their own money, instead buying the phones using fake IDs and fake credit cards.
The two suspects are Jorge Escotto, who is 23, and Joshua Gonzales, who is 25, and the phones were bought at a number of Westlake, Independence, and Elyria locations before the purchases raised police suspicions. The two men are being charged with identity theft and with receiving stolen property.
According to a Verizon employee, Gonzales went to the Westgate shopping center in Fairview Park, trying to buy a number of iPhone 6s’ using a license that was from Connecticut. The employee said that workers at another store in the area had sent him a photo of Gonzales, saying that he had been buying phones at other stores and was likely using a fake ID and credit card to make the purchases.
After police officers were called to the scene, Gonzales was asked to provide an ID, at which point he provided a New York license that had a different name than the Connecticut license he had been using to make the purchases. While they had different names, however, both licenses had the same photo.
At the time that police arrived to the scene, Escotto was waiting in an Uber car that was parked nearby. He then, however, asked if he could leave, and since he was not in the store with Gonzales when Gonzales was making the purchases, he was allowed to leave. Despite this, investigators late found that he had also been using fake IDs to make purchases in other stores, and the Uber driver later called to say that he had dropped Escotto at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Airport officials were then contacted, and Escotto was detained, later found with iPhones, an Apple Watch, and iPads in his luggage. It’s not yet known exactly how the two men were able to forge the credit cards and IDs used in the scam.
While the case certainly is interesting, it highlights the value of Apple products. Considering the two men could have bought anything, they decided to buy Apple products. Of course, that could just be because they’re expensive products that sell at a high price, but many people are looking for ways to get their hands on Apple products at a discount, and this likely played a role in the scam.
In fact, it could be argued that Apple has been slowly trying to increase the perceived value of its products over time, releasing rarer and extremely expensive products such as the Apple Watch Edition, which can run for well over $10,000, and is something most people probably haven’t even seen outside of pictures and the occasional demo model at Apple stores.
In fact, cases like this aren’t as rare as some might assume. Only a few days before the arrest of Escotto and Gonzales, there was another incident involving a woman in New York, who tried to buy $1,800 worth of iPhones at yet another Verizon store using a fake ID.
The store in question is the one at 750 Queen Street, and police were called there after a Verizon employee reported that a customer had committed identity theft in order to buy iPhones. The customer was identified as Maribel Hidalgo, 19, and she tried to purchase two iPhone 6s Plus phones, valued at around $1,829 in total, using an ID that had the name of another customer. She was later charged with third-degree identity theft, credit card theft, criminal impersonation, and criminal attempt to commit fourth-degree larceny.
Because of an increase in cases like this, it is becoming increasingly important for people to be extremely careful when it comes to identity cards and credit card information. Recently it was revealed that some credit card thieves had been using iPod Nanos and placing them above ATM machines to take pictures of PIN codes.
iPod Nanos were being used for their decent camera, combined with their excellent battery life when used properly. While this particular event took place in England, people should always be cautious all around the globe for potential scammers.