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Cell Phone Trafficking

Mayor / Maire

Came across these rather interesting releases state side

Maybe dangerous to purchase hardware off ebay or whatever for a while

Apparently USA prepay carriers are going after people who buy cheap hardware then resell it


AT&T* and its prepaid subsidiary, Cricket Wireless, announced today that it has brought civil lawsuits against two businesses and several individuals in New Jersey suspected of participating in bulk trafficking of new prepaid cellphones, a practice that can be harmful and misleading to consumers. 


The complaints were filed this month in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against US Mobile Pros LLC and Maz Wireless, LLC.  


“Cellphone trafficking hurts consumers and we want to show those involved in this activity that we’re serious about this issue and protecting our customers and our investment,” said John Dwyer, president of AT&T’s Prepaid Portfolio.  “If we can deter this activity, we can invest more into our service and providing consumers with affordable prepaid wireless service that includes deeply discounted devices.”


What is cellphone trafficking?

It’s an industry-wide issue. Those involved buy new discounted phones in bulk without intending to activate the phones on the AT&T or Cricket network. Once the new cellphones are purchased at subsidized prices, the cellphones are typically removed from their original packaging and the warranties and user manuals may be discarded. The cellphones are then unlocked without authorization and in violation of AT&T/Cricket policies. Once unlocked, the phones are resold at a substantial profit to the traffickers.


The activity negates the subsidy that AT&T Prepaid and Cricket intended to benefit the consumer – making it harder to provide great deals to our customers on cellphones.


Be cautious about purchasing devices that don’t come in original packaging or are without the typical instructions or warranties. If you suspect that someone is engaging in cellphone trafficking of AT&T or Cricket devices, please contact law enforcement immediately or contact the AT&T Asset Protection hotline at 1-(800)-807-4205.





Most of the US prepay MVNOs are selling last year devices that sat in the warehouses

On the major carriers it is fairly common to have a running Tab (basically a roll over, you are never off contract but can do frequent upgrades, usually every 12 months)


The laws are irrelevant since a US company blacklisting a phone for subscriber fraud will render that phone useless on any Canadian carrier as well


Many people do purchase from places like ebay or Amazon online etc so could be serious issue, esp to a prepay model like Public where people are finding their own hardware





I think AT&T and Cricket need to mind their own business.  If someone wants to buy 1000 cell phones and sell them if they feel they can make money on it, let them.  Calling law enforcement for legally purchasing a product?  LOL.  Further, U.S. laws don't apply in Canada. 


If AT&T and Cricket don't want people purchasing and reselling, then they can make adjustments to the prices that they sell the devices for.  In fact, if the carrier is so concerned about this, and the product is being sold below cost, how is this not a case of the carriers dumping the devices?  How can they be allowed to permanently sell a product below cost?

Town Hero / Héro de la Ville

@kav2001c moved to Asia 😁

@torontokris& @will13am


Noone is physically walking into a store saying "sell me 300 phones" lol

I mean can either of you try to imagine doing that in Canada at a Koodo store as an example, even knowing we can cancel next day and sell the iPhone for profit?


Many of these companies will actually recruit normal people like you and me

Some are honest about intentions, others are fraud (eg pay you $20 to be a "secret shopper", just go into that store with my money to activate the prepay cell and tell me what store is like)


And AT&T in particular (has at least 8 open lawsuits) is pushing to add to blacklist as "subscriber fraud" since never activated on their networks


Mayor / Maire

AT&T is an American telecommunications company that has a net worth is $200 billion.

Total assets‎: ‎US$444.097 billion (2017)
Number of employees‎: ‎273,210 (2018)
Net income‎: ‎US$29.450 billion (2017)
Must be so rough

Town Hero / Héro de la Ville

Maybe dont sell phones in bulk to individuals who dont appear to have legit stores or track sales of the full warranty phones


I would imagine bulk means lots, enough to be able to run a resale business.  The focus seems to be on the sellers and not on the buyers.  I suppose putting the phones on the blacklist would pretty much be a big kick in the groin for the buyers.