AT&T Accused of Aiding Criminals in iPhone Thefts

AT&T is aiding and abetting thieves who have stolen phones, including iPhones, a lawsuit in California alleges.

For years, the suit claims, AT&T has reactivated stolen phones and told customers it can’t block calls to and from the stolen devices so customers will have to purchase new ones, Courthouse NewsService reported. AT&T is accused of profiting at its customers’ expense and to the benefit of thieves, who can “simply walk into AT&T stores and ‘re-activate’ the devices, using different, cheap, readily available ‘SIM’ cards (computer chips)”, the report said, citing the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims AT&T and other cellphone providers have obtained millions of dollars each year in illegal profits.

An AT&T spokesperson told ZDNet the litigation lacks merit but he didn’t downplay the problem of stolen phones, noting that the carrier recently “joined with law enforcement, the FCC and other wireless carriers to announce additional steps to provide a comprehensive industry and government response to the problem of wireless device theft.”

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