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iPhone Owners Sue AT&T for Not Doing Enough to Prevent Smartphone Theft

Maura

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Forbes reports on a class action lawsuit that was filed in California last Tuesday by three iPhone owners against AT&T, which alleges that the carrier has not been doing enough to prevent smartphone theft. The plaintiffs, namely Hilary White, Jeff Pello and Natalie Warren, all had iPhones stolen, and all think that AT&T did not take adequate steps to recover the stolen phones. The trio’s complaint says that AT&T has made “millions of dollars in improper profits, by forcing legitimate customers, such as these Plaintiffs, to buy new cell phones, and buy new cell phone plans, while the criminals who stole the phone are able to simply walk into AT&T stores and ‘re-activate’ the devices, using different, cheap, readily available ‘SIM’ cards.” The compliant charges AT&T with alleged violations of California consumer and business laws, such as conspiracy, fraud, breach of contract, accessory to theft and unfair trade, according to Forbes. Broadly, the lawsuit is alleging that AT&T doesn’t do enough to track down stolen phones and return them to their owners, because it benefits from the owners having to buy new phones to replace the stolen ones. The complaint says that AT&T has told the Plaintiffs that it cannot block the stolen phones and thus prevent the thieves from using them, but such claims by AT&T are “false and fraudulent.” Forbes reports that AT&T has responded by saying that the lawsuit is “without merit,” adding, however, that it takes the theft of smartphones seriously, which is why it is now partnering with law enforcement bodies, the FCC and other wireless carriers in a new program to prevent smartphone crime, which was announced on Monday last week.

Source: iPhone Users Sue AT&T For 'Aiding and Abetting' Smartphone Thieves - Forbes
 

glgbnaf

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I went to Verizon first of all AT&T SUCKS!!! Figure it out
 

Gregoris

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More people need to be aware of "Find My Iphone" and even apple having it pre installed on ios so people know to use it and in events such as stolen or lost devices the people who complain to ATT can themselves login to the site and simply block the phone
 

iPhoneHackSource

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The fact that you lost your phone is entirely your fault. That would be like buying a car and then crashing it and you tell the car company to repair it for free. RIDICULOUS!!!!
 

parana6

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Some people are so stupid, looks like they don't have nothing better to do than telling people about useless app like find my iPhone. Turn it off and you will see if you can find it. Not saying about lost but stolen ones, that's the problem. Wake up people, get off of your own world , this is reality and the only one making money of this is the carrier and the thieves.
 

Mr.Mischief

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ardchoille said:
I can see telling people to keep track of their phone, that's a no-brainier. But what about people who have their phone stolen at gun point?
How many people have their iPhone stolen at gunpoint?
ardchoille said:
There should be a law that says anyone attempting to activate a phone that was reported stolen by the contract owner is immediately arrested - without question. Doesn't anyone check identifying numbers on the device before activating a phone?
You can't just arrest people "no questions asked". Lots of people buy used iPhones on eBay, there's a decent possibility they could get a stolen phone. I unknowingly buy a stolen iPhone from eBay for my mom. When I attempt to activate it, the police bust down my door and arrest me, "no questions asked"? No judge in America would pass that law.
 
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Pinkpoison

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Actually there are reports of iphones stolen at gunpoint,lets keep this friendly.
 

Mr.Mischief

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Poisonivy said:
Actually there are reports of iphones stolen at gunpoint,lets keep this friendly.

I wasn't saying that doesn't happen, just very, very rarely.
 

Skull One

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Lets clears some things up.

A stolen phone can not be turned off by "Find my iPhone". It can only be remotely wiped or locked. The thief simply has to connect it to iTunes to reinstall the OS and the phone is as "good as new" and is now useable on a supported network.

Where someone is located has ZERO to do with intelligence or the law suits that are filed. This lawsuit is a direct result of a legal issue created by the wireless providers in the United States. They allow phones that have been locked on one network to be used on another network where those frequencies are supported. There have also been directly verifiable claims of phones stolen where the IMEI and/or MEID have been reported to the carrier but the carrier did not lock the phone out.

There won't be a single judge in the United States that will throw this out. I suspect it will reach class action status very quickly because the lawsuit not only has merit but can be proving in a court of law.

This isn't some frivolous lawsuit. This is something that was a long time coming. And now that the FCC has made all the Wireless providers sign up for a shared "stolen phone list", this lawsuit just got handed the silver platter to sit on.
 

Gregoris

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Lets clears some things up.

A stolen phone can not be turned off by "Find my iPhone". It can only be remotely wiped or locked. The thief simply has to connect it to iTunes to reinstall the OS and the phone is as "good as new" and is now useable on a supported network.

Where someone is located has ZERO to do with intelligence or the law suits that are filed. This lawsuit is a direct result of a legal issue created by the wireless providers in the United States. They allow phones that have been locked on one network to be used on another network where those frequencies are supported. There have also been directly verifiable claims of phones stolen where the IMEI and/or MEID have been reported to the carrier but the carrier did not lock the phone out.

There won't be a single judge in the United States that will throw this out. I suspect it will reach class action status very quickly because the lawsuit not only has merit but can be proving in a court of law.

This isn't some frivolous lawsuit. This is something that was a long time coming. And now that the FCC has made all the Wireless providers sign up for a shared "stolen phone list", this lawsuit just got handed the silver platter to sit on.

I agree with you that you cant really turn it off but if your not going to get the phone back any way you may as well lock or wipe it so they cant use it, it's better then nothing that the carrier will do, or you can track it and see its location (unless the phone is turned off) I dont know if you saw the news about the guy in greece who used the find my iphone feature to locate the device that was found/stolen and being used by thieves and he managed to retrieve it.. its not so simple for every one to do so but its about all you can really do in that situation.
 

Skull One

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I agree with you that you cant really turn it off but if your not going to get the phone back any way you may as well lock or wipe it so they cant use it, it's better then nothing that the carrier will do, or you can track it and see its location (unless the phone is turned off) I dont know if you saw the news about the guy in greece who used the find my iphone feature to locate the device that was found/stolen and being used by thieves and he managed to retrieve it.. its not so simple for every one to do so but its about all you can really do in that situation.

There have been a lot of phones found by location services in both iOS and Android. And so far we have been lucky that we haven't read of someones death because they managed to track their phone down and they decided to go get it themselves instead of waiting for Law Enforcement to retrieve the device.
 

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