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AppleCare Fraud Involving 1,000 Fake iPhones Busted in Switzerland

A fraud operation involving 1.000-plus fake iPhones was seized by Swiss custom officials, and a mother and son duo were charged in the process.

The Chinese citizens have been charged with fraud involving Apple Care warranty and fake iPhones. The smartphones were shipped from Hong Kong to Switzerland, and exhibited water damage and still under warranty. The fake devices also had an IMEI, or International Mobile Equipment Identity number that matched a legitimate iPhone with an existing AppleCare+ policy.

Apple Store employees are instructed not to open devices that had water damage due to short-circuit and fire hazard. When the IMEI and AppleCare+ policy matches then they are provided new phones once they pay the deductible.

The pair declared they didn’t know the iPhones were fake and thought the shipment was done due to servicing difficulties in China. The operation was uncovered only when Swiss custom officers seized two packages containing 50 fake iPhones each that came from Hong Kong.

Muriel Bonney
Muriel Bonney is a senior reporter at Ziddu focused on labor, transportation, and diversity and inclusion in tech. She previously spent two years at Business Insider covering tech startups focused on the shared economy, IoT, and music industry.