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A man who kept “losing” his iPhones was arrested after police found he wasn’t losing them at all.
It all started when a 34-year-old marketing manager (whose name has not yet been released) from Bukit Mertajam, Malaysia filed a police report indicating that he had been robbed by two men on a motorcycle near his mother-in-law’s house on Saturday.
The man claimed the robbers stole his iPhone XS Max, as well as his iPad Pro, MacBook Pro and other valuables. All in all, he said he lost an amount total to RM11,000 — about $2,618 — according to local media reports.
But officers reportedly sensed that something was “amiss” in the report. After a bit of digging, local police discovered what was really going on — the man had been filing similar reports of lost valuables about every year.
“However, when we looked into his background, we found his prior police reports, which all had a similar pattern,” Central Seberang Perai police chief Nik Ros Nik Abdul Hamid said. “Every report showed he had lost an iPhone.”
Local police actually discovered that the man had been carrying out insurance fraud since at least 2013, when he filed his first suspicious report.
Under interrogation, the suspect admitted to selling iPhones and other Apple products on a popular internet forum. Once he sold them, he would report them as stolen in order to claim insurance money on it.
After it all was said and done, he would simply buy a new iPhone with the insurance money and pocket the rest he had made off the devices he had sold. In the latest case, he hadn’t even gotten around to getting rid of his MacBook Pro.
“We went to his mother-in-law’s house in Kampung Baru, Bukit Mertajam, and found his MacBook Pro, which was reported stolen, there,” Nik Ros told local media.
The man added that he sold his iPhone XS Max for about RM5,000, roughly $1,190 in U.S. currency. He said he sold a MacBook for about RM6,000, or about $1,427.82.
Smartphones are other devices have long been popular targets for those looking to defraud insurance agencies. Back in 2011, The Financial Times reported that an estimated 20 to 40 percent of all mobile phone insurance claims were fraudulent.