France Arrests 9 for Mobile-Phone Codes Fraud

spy-phone-scam

On a side note outside of XDA, but very related to mobile world, French authorities have dismantled a cybercrime network and arrested nine people suspected of being involved in the illegal sale of codes used to unlock mobile phones.
At least 100 phone codes were stolen each day and an estimated 30,000 per month. The codes were then resold on a website that had 100,000 clients.

Authorities estimated the fraud was costing mobile operators anything from about 500,000 euros ($667,200) per month per to several millions in profit.
Mobile service providers France Telecom’s Orange Mobile, Bouygues, and European mobile phone manufacturers could have been affected by the fraud.

This is a good time to raise awareness amongst all of us. Providing serial numbers and codes (such as ESN, IMEI, and MEID) is a dangerous activity. Unlocking businesses are plentiful (both here at XDA and all over the internet as well). If you are going to provide this information to a “trusted company”, make sure that they have some sort of a reputation before you do anything. Asking them to show you results will do little as you will probably not know anyone that they claim are their “clients”. You can browse through XDA forums and find out a few trusted companies that will do this either for a small donation, or even free for XDA members.

Thanks to XDA moderator the-equinoxe

Originally posted by Reuters
MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) – French authorities have dismantled a cybercrime network and arrested nine people suspected of being involved in the illegal sale of codes used to unlock mobile phones, police said on Monday.

Authorities opened an investigation in 2009 into the alleged fraud in response to a complaint from France’s second-biggest mobile operator, SFR, which is jointly owned by Vivendi and Vodafone.

The suspects, including three who are in custody, bought codes from employees of manufacturers and mobile phone shops for about three euros each, and resold them online for about 30 euros each. The alleged scam has been running for five years.

A brother and sister in their thirties, arrested in the northwestern city of Rennes where they operate a mobile phone shop, are suspected to be at the head of the ring.

“They will face charges including theft and handling stolen goods in an organized manner, interfering with automated data processing, embezzlement, receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy,” said police spokesman Philippe Lajeunesse.

Lajeunesse said the six others would be brought before the courts and more arrests should be expected.

You can find more information in the original thread.


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