$750K fraud sends iPhones from Oregon to Hong Kong

Investigators said they seized 470 iPhones

A fraud involving the purchase of iPhones in Oregon and sent to Hong Kong was uncovered in Tigard, Dec. 22, 2015 (Tigard PD)
A fraud involving the purchase of iPhones in Oregon and sent to Hong Kong was uncovered in Tigard, Dec. 22, 2015 (Tigard PD)

TIGARD, Ore. (KOIN) — An organized crime operation used hundreds of gift cards to buy iPhones in Oregon and ship them to Hong Kong in a fraud approaching $750,000, investigators said Tuesday.

A fraud involving the purchase of iPhones in Oregon and sent to Hong Kong was uncovered in Tigard, Dec. 22, 2015 (Tigard PD)
A fraud involving the purchase of iPhones in Oregon and sent to Hong Kong was uncovered in Tigard, Dec. 22, 2015 (Tigard PD)

The Tigard Police Commercial Crimes Unit began their investigation December 4 when one man used “large stacks of gift cards” at the Apple store inside Washington Square Mall. The man was then seen putting his newly-bought iPhones inside the trunk of a rented car, which was filled with Apple shopping bags.

Police stopped the car and the 2 people inside allowed them to search the car.

Investigators said they seized 470 iPhones, hundreds of gift cards and receipts totaling more than $585,000.

Detectives then went to a nearby FedEx and found a number of boxes filled with iPhones the suspects had previously dropped off for shipment to Hong Kong.

The fraudulent purchases may top three-quarters of a million dollars, investigators said.

No one has yet been arrested and the investigation continues. The gift cards are directly linked to counterfeit credit cards that originated in Southern California, officials said.

Tigard Detective TJ Hahn tells KOIN 6 News organized retail theft has become a hotter crime than drug sales.

“This kind of activity makes millions of millions of dollars, into the billions.”

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