As people in Canada become more dependent on our devices we actually find that we want higher end smartphones like the iPhone or BlackBerry. With this it seems that those who are in the fraud business are raking in the cash. They’ve found a bit of a loophole in Canada as they fraudsters walk into a store, show fake ID and skirt around credit checks then sign up for a discounted 3-year contract price… eventually sending the device overseas to Asia or India, never paying a monthly bill or cancellation fee.
Telus spokesman Shawn Hall said “This is still fairly new. People can come in with a fake ID, buy a handset, ship it overseas – we understand they’re probably going to Asia – and reselling them… is certainly an issue”. Specifically about the iPhone, Bell spokesperson Claire Fiset said they’re working with authorities as they’ve “indeed encountered this issue since we launched the device back in November”.
WIND launched their devices before the holidays. They give people the choice to buy phones at cost and can also choose not to activate them. Romeo Ganescu, director of marketing for products, services, and terminals for Wind said “We were thinking that this was happening, because we had seen a larger number of BlackBerrys sold than BlackBerrys activated. But I don’t think we’ve identified the issue as pressing, or as a fraud.”
Big business, especially with how many wireless devices get launched every year. Definitely in the millions a year range.
More here at the Globe