July 25, 2014
Here’s an interesting way to defraud Apple and get the U.S. Secret Service involved in the process. According to ifoAppleStore (via Cult of Mac), 52-year-old Floridian Sharron L. Parrish Jr. has been charged with federal wire fraud for racking up $309,000 in illegal credit card transactions, with many of them carried out at Apple Stores. Parrish spent $7,400 at each Apple Store using a canceled credit card. When the Apple Store employee swiped the card and it was declined, Parrish would pretend to phone his bank, and come back with a six-digit reference number from a supposed customer service agent. Parrish would then ask the employee to “force post” the transaction. This process pushes the payment through, regardless of the number. As Cult of Mac notes, this went against Apple Store policy for two reasons.
Firstly one version of Apple’s retail employee training manual instructs that the employee — not the customer — must be the one to call up a credit card processor if there is a problem with a transaction. Secondly, if a credit card is declined Apple Store employees are told to return the card in question to the customer and “politely and discreetly request another form of payment.”Because this was Apple’s fault, they are the ones on the hook for the $309,000, not the bank or credit card institution. Parrish was caught after Secret Service agents obtained Apple Store surveillance video, which confirmed it was the accused who used the credit cards in the Apple Stores. Photo: Tampa Bay Times