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 CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Applemac laptopsconsumer electronicssecuritysmartphoneshardware systemsiPhonelaptopsIdentity fraud / theft

More about AppleIDGManhattanNews

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Martyn Williams

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts