Dozens of pro athletes and musicians fell for a phishing scam that pilfered their Apple accounts and credit cards.
A Dacula, Georgia, resident had pled guilty to one count of computer fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in a hacking scheme where he stole credit card information from the Apple accounts of big-name rappers and NBA and NFL players.
Kwamaine Jerell Ford, 27, employed thousands of phishing emails targeting college and professional athletes and rapper musicians in which he spoofed legitimate Apple customer service email accounts, according to the US Department of Justice. He posed as an Apple customer support representative asking the targets to send their usernames and passwords or other account security information to reset their Apple accounts.
Dozens of the targets – no one was named publicly by the DoJ – fell for the scam. Ford then took over their Apple accounts, stealing credit card numbers and using those accounts to purchase air travel, hotels, and furniture, and to transact money transfers to online accounts.
“The high profile victims in this case are an example that no matter who you are, hackers like Ford are trying to get your personal information,” said Chris Hacker Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “This case demonstrates the need to be careful in protecting personal information and passwords, especially in response to suspicious e-mails. Hopefully this is a lesson for everyone, not just the victims in this case.”
Ford, who began his social engineering and hacking scheme in March 2015, faces sentencing on June 24.
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