Cell phone trafficking: Far from harmless

Flying under the radar is a complex network of traffickers. They don’t deal in guns or drugs. Instead, they deal in prepaid cell phones, which they hack to work on networks for which the phones were not intended. The phones are then sold to unsuspecting customers as “new,” often in counterfeit packaging.

These traffickers buy cell phones in bulk, re-work the software and sell the phones at huge profits, here at home and around the world. Their actions harm consumers, are often used in crimes and cost wireless providers hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Why you should care

Inferior products

Cell phone traffickers re-work or alter the phone software or hardware to allow the phones to be used on other networks. They also often wrap the phones in counterfeit packaging. Unknowing buyers may then purchase one of these phones only to find that it doesn’t work as intended and that the warranty is no good.