Police warn iPhone customers to check bills for unauthorized upgrades

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - Police in the St. Louis-area are warning customers to pay close attention to their mobile phone bills.

Criminals from out-of-state are finding ways to upgrade customers’ accounts without their knowledge. The cases, which span the country, primarily involve upgrades to obtain the Apple iPhone 6s.

Des Peres Police recently arrested a man from New York City at West County Center. Detectives responded to the AT&T store, where they said the man used a fake driver’s license to obtain an iPhone.

Emilio Jimenez, 23, was charged with forgery and remains in custody at St. Louis County Jail on $25,000 cash-only bond.

Detective Marshall Broughton said the Jimenez case is one of three reported incidents in Des Peres. Other municipalities have reported similar cases, he said.

It is unclear how the criminals are obtaining customers’ account information. Broughton said all smartphone users should be wary of added charges.

“If your account is eligible for an upgrade, then you should be suspicious and check your phone to make sure somebody hasn’t already gotten an upgrade without your knowledge,” Broughton said. “It would probably go up $26, $27 a month. [Customers] may or may not notice that.”

Broughton said the Apple Store and AT&T have been vigilant detecting the fraud. In a recent case, AT&T spotted the criminal activity and contacted the customer. Otherwise, criminals could be making off with brand new phones at an innocent person’s expense.

“A $900 phone,” he said.

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