In the USA, a man was recently apprehended, who, using invalid credit cards, conned Apple vendors for almost $310 thousand! How did he managed to do it?

Sharron Parrish, 24, came up with an incredibly trivial way of buying anything even without any money in his account. What is more, his credit cards were expired. He managed to cheat Apple, one of the world‘s largest computer potentates, 42 times, tricking them into handing over $309,768 worth of electronics.

How did he do it?

The trick was possible due to manual ‘forcing‘ of bank transactions. At the checkout, Parrish would place his card in a terminal, and the bank would promptly reject it due to insufficient funds or expiration. In such situations, if the customer is certain that there are sufficient funds in their account, the cashier can, upon the customer‘s request, call the bank and verify the problem. If the bank approves of it, the cashier would receive a special code to authorize the transaction. Parrish would insist on doing so, pretending to call the bank himself and giving the cashier a string of random numbers. He was using four different cards, each assigned to an inactive account.

What is especially surprising is the fact that any 6-digit code could be used to authoruize the purchase – it was required only for the cashier to manually conclude the sale.

A common practice?

Sharron Parrish was not the only one to come up with such a wily scheme. Temeshia McDonald, 29, used a similar method to con a number of shops, including Victoria‘s Secret. The joint value of the merchandise she obtained was about $558,000! Considering the fact that it is the cashiers, and cashiers alone who are supposed to acquire and enter the code, they are actually the ones to blame. Unless, of course, the actual perpetrator is apprehended.

Secret Service

Secret Service does not only protect the president of the USA. Initially this formation was meant to fight counterfeiters. That is why one of the agents pursued the case of Sharron Parrish, ultimately arresting him in result of a cooperation with Apple employees and one of the banks.

Apart from Apple electronics, Parrish attempted to rent a car and a hotel room using the same trick. It is hard not to admit that Parrish‘s scheme was quite ingenious. It also makes one wonder whether payment systems outside the US work in a similar way?

title photo by: Yutaka Tsutano (Creative Commons)

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