Chinese Students Dupe Apple Out Of $1 Million In Fake iPhone Replacements

Apple Apple fraud Apple iPhone fraud Apple iPhone replacement warranty Apple iPhone repair programme Apple China fraud replacement Apple repair Apple iPhone replacement

Two college students in OR are accused of running a scam that scored them thousands of free iPhones from Apple.

Two engineering students in U.S. reportedly duped the iPhone maker for more than Rs 6 crore by exploiting Apple's return policy.

Court documents showed that the men were importing thousands of fake iPhones from China. They would send in the knockoffs for repairs or replacement, claiming they wouldn't power on.

Federal prosecutors allege Quan Jiang and Yangyang Zhou imported more than 2,000 fugazy iPhones from "an associate" in China and then submitted them to Apple for fix under the company's warranty program, the report said. It's hard to say if the students were very clever or if Apple is just really bad at preventing this kind of thing.

According to The Oregonian, Zhou was an engineering student at Linn Benton Community College last spring.

"Jiang explained that in exchange for his labor and efforts, his associate in China pays Jiang's mother, who also resides in China, who in turn deposits the proceeds into a bank account that Jiang is able to access here in the United States", read the court filing submitted by Special Agent Thomas A. Duffy of the Homeland Security Investigations.

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Federal complaints reveal that both students have claimed that they didn't know the devices were counterfeit. Both remain out of custody, but Jiang, who was accused back in 2018, is being monitored by Global Positioning System.

Jiang is facing charges of trafficking in counterfeit goods and wire fraud.

The scheme worked mainly because Apple Store employees couldn't verify if the devices were original or not since they wouldn't power on. Apple sent them a brand new, legitimate iPhone as part of its warranty process. Moreover, the phone maker doesn't ask for proof of purchase as per the Verge.

The remaining claims - 1,576 of them - were rejected for tampering and returned to the sender, along with a letter explaining why the warranty claim had been denied.

Apple lost almost $1 million after replacing more than 1,400 counterfeit iPhones with new ones. The two students used to have bulk shipments of "fake" iPhones from China and gave them to Apple to get them repaired under warranty. Zhou's lawyer claims that his client will be "vindicated" as he did not know that the iPhones sent to him from China were counterfeit, and thought he was simply taking a cut for a service.

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