iPhone Resellers Battle Fraud

Posted by: Olga Kharif on January 29, 2008

I just talked to a New York-based reseller of unlocked iPhones, and he gave me some very interesting statistics: Two out of 10 people who order iPhones from him try to use stolen credit cards or invalid accounts.

When it comes to purchases of devices by other manufacturers, such as Samsung and Nokia, rates of fraud are much lower, standing at around one out of 100 to 200, says Shawn Zade, senior sales associate at Wireless Imports, which sells between 500 and 1,000 iPhones a month. As a result, he now requires customers to submit copies of their driver’s licenses and other information to verify their idenities.

Zade thinks fraud rates are this high because the gadget is so hip and so popular, and everybody wants it. Alas, peddling hot sellers is not all it’s been made out to be.

Reader Comments


January 30, 2008 12:19 AM

So "thieves prefer iPhones 20 to 1 over the competition"?

If this information is proven true over a larger sample size of dealers, I guess one could draw conclusions about the ethics of that salesman that brandishes an iPhone.

Maybe the BlackBerry guy is more trustworthy? Interesting.

iPhone Lover

January 30, 2008 4:24 AM

I think this is not just for iphones as a lot of fraudsters are using stolen credit cards to buy gadgets. Maybe it's the urge to get the latest gadget (even if they can't afford it) that prompts people to steal credit cards.

Mars M.


January 30, 2008 2:47 PM

I think these rates indicate the ease in which an iPhone can be resold. I have tried to buy a used iPhone in Atlanta several times in the past few months, but any local offer sells the same day the Ad appears.

If you search Craiglist, you will notice few iPhone Ads, and a survey of the sellers indicates sales cycles of one day or less.

Helen, Zhou

February 1, 2008 12:11 AM

Dear Sir/Madam,

I adhere to ask for your post address, for sending you our iPhone pen sample. Thanks!

Best Regards
Buyuz.com in Shenzhen, China
Helen, Zhou

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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