A local news reporter from the Denver 9News has discovered a scheme where iPhone traffickers cruise around homeless shelters, the 16th Street Mall, and plasma donation clinics to find people desperate for money. They convince the people they find to sign numerous contracts for numerous iPhones at an Apple Store, where Apple employees appear to be in on the scam, the organizers pay their victims $100 or more in exchange and tell them they can just cancel contracts at any time to avoid paying monthly fees and penalties, but their unknowing accomplice is stuck with the monthly payments or faces ruined credit. The traffickers then turn around and sell the unlocked iPhones for full retail price.
Benji Kermani of Beverly Hills is one of the men behind the scam. Kermani owns a company called DEAL2BEAT where he sells the ‘unlocked’ iPhones for more than $700 dollars each in foreign countries.
A 19-year-old woman named Phoenix was one of the victims, she tells 9wants to know “I thought it was amazing money. I had rent due the next day and I was looking to pay it.” “I was very desperate, I’m in the hole about $6,000.”
9News tried to reach Apple’s public relation department via email and by phone. A spokesperson returned the call to say Apple does not comment on “matters of security”. The scam was ended by the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.
“….one of the organizers returned at which time we had to get the police involved, and since that happened, they have not returned,” said Cherry Creek general manager Nick LeMasters.
Watch the news report bellow.