AT&T sued for aiding and abetting cell phone thieves

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Last updated April 12, 2019

AT&T has been aiding and abetting cell phone thieves for many years by reactivating cell phones that have been stolen, in particular iPhones, and then fraudulently claiming to customers that they are unable to block calls from and to the stolen devices, meaning that customers have to buy new ones, claims a new class action in the Supreme Court.

The class action alleges that AT&T has behaved in this manner “in order to make millions of dollars in impromptu profits, by forcing legitimate customers … to buy new cell phones, and new cell phone plans, while the criminals who stole the phone are able to simply walk into AT&T stores and ‘reactivate’ the devices, using different, cheap, readily available SIM cards (computer chips).”

Hilary White and two other plaintiffs are suing AT&T for conspiracy, breach of contract, unfair trade, fraud, accessory to theft and a multitude of other charges. They claim that the International Mobile Equipment Identification number, which is about 15 digits long, means that all cell phones that are registered to the buyer when he or she purchases it are easily identifiable and visible to AT&T businesses, stores and employees. However, they have continued to aid and abet cell phone thieves by reactivating the obviously stolen new or old cell phones, while simultaneously falsely telling legitimate customers that they are unable to stop the usage of the phones by thieves.