With employee help, ID theft ring allegedly stole $700,000 in Apple gift cards

Five people have been indicted in scheme that took advantage of Apple 'instant credit'

Apple products are some of the most expensive and desirable in tech so it makes sense that the company's gift cards are proving an attractive currency for criminals.

On Thursday, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said it has indicted five people for using personal information stolen from around 200 people to fund the purchase of hundreds of thousands of dollars in Apple gift cards, which in turn were used to buy Apple products.

The DA's office alleges that Annie Vuong, a 27-year-old from the Bronx, stole the names, address, birth dates and social security numbers of patients at the Manhattan dental office where she worked. That data was passed to Devin Bazile, a 30-year-old former Apple sales associate from the Bronx, who used it to apply for Apple "instant credit," the lawsuit alleges.

Instant credit is offered by Apple in conjunction with Barclaycard, and provides an immediate credit line for use in the purchase of Apple products. In this case, the DA says credit was extended for various amounts between $2,000 and $7,000.

The approval comes in the form of a barcode, which Bazile and associates are alleged to have shared with Apple Store employees recruited to help in the scheme. The employees worked at Apple Stores in Manhattan, White Plains and New Jersey and used the barcodes to purchase Apple gift cards.

In all, the group allegedly purchased around $700,000 of Apple gift cards, which were subsequently used to buy Apple products including laptops, the Manhattan DA said.

"Using stolen information to purchase Apple products is one of the most common schemes employed by cybercrime and identity theft rings today," District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement.

"We see in case after case how all it takes is single insider at a company -- in this instance, allegedly, a receptionist in a dentists' office -- to set an identity theft ring in motion, which then tries to monetize the stolen information by purchasing Apple goods for resale or personal use," he said.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesAppleiPhonehardware systemsconsumer electronicsmac laptopslaptopsIdentity fraud / theft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?