Phone traffickers have cost the cell phone industry as much as $1 billion. When wireless carriers lose revenues to trafficking, they must recover their investments by raising prices for legitimate consumers.
Governments lose tax dollars. Cell phone companies lose profits. And consumers lose due to price hikes. But the costs of trafficking are enormous in other ways.
Cell phones that are purchased in bulk and altered for non-intended networks are often used to earn money to fund criminal activities. They have been used to support terrorism and even organized crime. In this way, the true costs of trafficking go well beyond monetary losses. All around the world, people pay for phone trafficking by compromising their safety and peace of mind.