AT&T, world’s largest telecom company, reported losses over $200,000,000 USD after a Pakistani fraudster, Muhammed Fahd, started and managed several unlocking services since the summer of 2012.
Fahd recruited AT&T employees with monetary bribes to allow his companies the ability to unlock tethered cell phones purchased under contract by customers of AT&T. AT&T caught on in April 2013, blocking the ability of certain staff to unlock cell phones.
A malware developer was hired to create software which allowed the fraud team to collect and analyze network data of how AT&T was unlocking customers’ cell phones. This allowed the team to unlock cell phones via their third-party companies from Pakistan.
The bribery continued with asking employees to implant hardware devices such as WiFi access points within the company’s internal network.
At least 1,900,033 cell phones were unlocked by his team, allegedly worth $201,497,430.94 USD to AT&T. His companies included Swif Unlocks Inc, Endless Trading FZE, Endless Connections Inc, and iDevelopment Co.
Hong Kong made the arrest of Fahd in February 2018. August 2019 he was extradited to the US to face judgement. He is now sentenced to 12 years in prison for committing wire fraud, which he admitted to in September 2020.