The operation is pretty simple, zero in on an unsuspecting hard-for-cash victim; convince them to ride to the nearest Apple Store. Get them to sign a couple of contracts and exchange brand new unlocked iPhones for a couple of hundred dollars. Result: the trafficker makes a killing, the store makes great sales, and the victim is left with the heartburn of ruined credit standing and some debt.
According to the sing operation conducted by a reporter from Denver's 9News, this kind of iPhone trafficking is very common at the Apple stores in Colorado. There seems to be a nexus between the operators and the Apple Store employees, who tend to turn a blind eye given the suspicious circumstances of the whole deal.
The money that exchanges hands is pitiful but the repercussions magnify to a couple of thousands of dollars. Take the example of a very gullible Phoenix, who was contacted by the schemers and promised a couple of hundred of dollars in exchange of her signing contracts for the iPhones and handing it over to them. She required money to pay off her rent and was assured that she could cancel her contracts within three days. At the end of it, she is now left with terrible credit ratings and a further debt of $6000.
As the video highlights it, the Apple store did not seem very responsive towards the situation and it took the mall authorities at the Cherry Creek Apple Store to kind of shut things down. The only company who came forth with some explanation to the madness was Sprint, who told 9News that credit muling problems had surfaced since it introduced the iPhone. At the end of the day, these traffickers look at making hundreds of dollars at the expense of cash-strapped victims and although a crackdown is being conducted, the only way to stop or reduce the impact is to educate the unawares.