• 06.11.09

Musical Gang Uses Amazon, iTunes to Turn Stolen Credit Cards Into Royalty Cash

The FBI’s new e-crime unit busts up a novel scam pulled by thieving British musicians.

iTunes remote controlled playback via iPod Touch

Say you’re a DJ, hustling gigs but hungry for more cash. How do you do it? A nine-person gang figured out an scam: Between September 2008 and January 2009, they used over 1,500 stolen credit cards to spend over $761,000 on music at iTunes and Amazon. The hook: The ring bought music made by the DJ’s among them, netting over $330,000 in royalties checks.


Ingenious, no doubt. But the scam was detected by the new FBI e-crimes unit, working with investigators in the U.K.; British police then made arrests across England. The nine are currently being held on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering. 

[Via BBC; Image by tanais]

About the author

Cliff is director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.