back to article T-Mobile and AT&T stung in $22m handset scam

Eight people have been indicted by a Brooklyn court for running a scam that involved dealers using customer details to order handsets, in a fraud worth $22m. The charges allege that two of the defendants, who ran cellular dealerships in New York and Florida, picked up customer details from the network's databases, then used the …

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$22m?

And they did this by telephone presumably? Quick math: $22m / $600 per phone = 66k times they repeated this?

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Easy fix

Have customers create a secret question and answer. Then before any orders can take place at a phone dealer, require the answer to that secret question.

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@Wade

The phone shop would just need to ask the customer what their secret answer was as part of the order process, and probably 95% of them would hand it over without a second thought.

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Anonymous Coward

How much?!?

I'm not getting that figure of $22m either, that's insane - how did they come to that figure!

So even if each handset cost the companies $1,000, over a year that would still mean 8 people would be having to scam more than 10 handsets every working day - and noboby would notice that?!?

Me thinks a decimal point has gone missing!

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Bronze badge

Losses never are believable...

...at least the way they are calculated in the US. I vaguely recall one of the early hacker cases. Someone used a PDP-11 to type a letter reporting the hack to a manager. They took maybe half an hour to write the letter using maybe 5% of the machine's capacity. However, the entire $60,000+ purchase cost of the machine used was included in the breakdown of the costs supposedly incurred.

It looks like much the same thing is still going on if the McKinnon case is anything to go by.

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Badgers

cost

@refined chap.. agree. $22 million is probably 20 or handsets, the entire cost of AT&Ts legal department for the month of May, the elecricity to run T-Mobiles warehouse, the wages bill of the whole of Californias PD.

It's too hard to work out how much it cost one worker to ship one handset so they just charge for everyones time.

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accurate accounting

ahh but if they have a "fraud department" that has been operating for 10 years costing $2million per year and they have only caught this single scam to date, that means that it cost them $20million for the fraud department to find the scam - then allow an extra $2million for lawyers

or perhaps it's the other way around, $2mil for the fraud department and $20mil for the lawyers... yep that sounds more accurate

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