Apple is said to have been “incredibly unhelpful” in trying to regain access to his account after his iPhone was stolen and replaced with a fake
A thief has stolen a man’s iPhone at a Manhattan bar by replacing it with a fake.
He thought the battery was dead and only realized it wasn’t his phone when he tried to charge it.
He said Apple was “incredibly unhelpful” when he asked for help regaining access to his account.
Trent was out with friends in Manhattan one night in February 2021 when he realized a brazen thief had swapped his iPhone for a fake one.
Trent, who asked to only use his first name, whose identity Insider knows, went out for dinner and drinks with friends. At one point, the 28-year-old checked his phone on the table and assumed the battery was dead because it wouldn’t turn on.
On the way home, he stopped for pizza and asked the store staff if he could charge his device there. “That’s when I realized it wasn’t my phone,” Trent told Insider.
“I originally thought the pizzeria had swapped my phone, but police said they were pretty familiar with the job,” Trent said, adding that police told him the owners “wouldn’t do anything like that.”
Trent filed a police report that Insider saw and thought it was a simple theft. “It was much worse. They had my passcode to get into my phone, which then gave them access to my password manager and then access to all of my credit cards and banking information,” he said.
Trent told Insider that he suspects the thief got into his iPhone by watching him until he saw him enter his passcode. He suspects that the thief then somehow took his iPhone XS out of the case without Trent noticing and replaced it with a fake.
He guessed that when his cell phone, which he had placed on the table, was out of sight, the thief had grabbed it and swapped it within seconds.
He couldn’t access his Apple account after realizing what happened. “They changed my passwords – I couldn’t access anything anymore,” Trent said. “They opened a credit card in my name, bought an iPad and emptied my Venmo.”
The thief repeatedly attempted to purchase iPads from Target stores in New York City.
Bank statements verified by Insider showed a charge of $1,633 for an iPad and $229.68 debited from Trent’s Venmo account. Another indictment showed that the thief tried to withdraw another $980.
Trent contacted Apple hoping the company would help him change his password. The tech giant told him he had to wait until a day had passed since the thief requested a password reset and that the automated system only allowed one request every 24 hours. If Trent can’t change it the next day, Apple says Apple will have to wait another 27 days.
Although he was able to verify his identity to expedite the process, Trent said Apple told him he could “be anyone” and therefore would not do anything. “It was incredibly frustrating, especially because the thieves had access to everything and I could see them opening my messages before I could even do it,” he told Insider.
Nearly two weeks after the theft, Trent finally regained access to his Apple account, but then found he had to change all of his documents — including his passport and driver’s license — since the thief now had copies.
Earlier this year, Insiders reported on Reyhan Ayas, whose iPhone was stolen in November and who also found Apple to be of no help in regaining access to her account. When her ordeal was over, whoever stole her phone had managed to withdraw $10,000 from her bank account.
Apple has not responded to a request for comment from Insider.
Have you been the victim of a theft or do you have insight? Contact this reporter at [email protected] or on Twitter at @samtabahriti
Read the original article on Business Insider