Debit Card Scammer Steals $350K In Apple Products

A Sacramento man has pleaded guilty to stealing $350,000 worth of Apple devices from stores across the U.S.

According to Cult of Mac, 33-year-old Marcus Israel Butler committed debit card fraud in Apple Stores in Sacramento, Modesto, New York, Baltimore, Chicago, North Carolina and Alaska.

Butler went to the stores to purchase a variety of Apple products, including iPhones and Macs, with an invalid debit card. When the payment failed to go through, Butler gave staff members a number to call, which connected them to a person also involved in the scam posing as a representative of the bank. That person then provided an authorization code that allowed the payment to proceed.

While the details of how the scam worked are unknown, Butler was able to accumulate $350,000 worth of Apple devices (a total spent per store averaging around $6,000). He entered a guilty plea in late December and will be sentenced at a later date.

This isn't the first time Apple Stores and products have been the target of criminal behavior. Back in 2015, four former store employees, as well as a dental office receptionist, were charged with using stolen Apple gift cards to fund an Apple-related scam worth $700,000. And in 2012, $1.5 million worth of iPad minis were stolen from New York’s JFK airport.



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.