Thief buys $600,000 in luxury goods and Bitcoin using Apple Pay and stolen cards

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What you need to know

  • A 33-year-old man in Washington state has been jailed for three years over a massive credit card scam.
  • Aaron Laws spent more than $600,000 using stolen credit card information and Apple Pay.
  • Laws was able to make numerous purchases without having a card present thanks to Apple's digital wallet.

A 33-year-old man from Washington state has been jailed for three years and ordered to pay back more than $600,000 for items bought using stolen credit card information and Apple Pay.

As reported by MarketWatch, Aaron Laws bought the details of more than 500 stolen credit cards on the dark web, and then loaded them onto digital wallets including Apple Pay, enabling him to spend some $600,000 on luxury goods. From the report:

Prosecutors in Washington state said that between February 2017 and December 2018, Aaron Laws, 33, of Atlanta, bought more than 500 stolen credit-card numbers from the dark web and loaded them onto the digital wallets of prepaid cell phones. Paying with digital wallets means that purchases can be made without having to present an actual credit card.

Laws used the help of several co-conspirators across eight states, who helped him to purchases iPhones and MacBooks from Apple stores, as well as a Rolex and a diamond-encrusted bitcoin medallion, he also bought $93,000 worth of the cryptocurrency. The rest of the goods were sold to brokers and the money used to buy more bitcoin. As the report notes, Laws was enabled in part because he could make purchases using digital wallets like Apple Pay which aren't always limited by merchants and don't require your card to be present to make a purchase.

An attorney for the state said Laws' operation was "sophisticated and difficult to detect" but that "ultimately law enforcement stopped him in his tracks." Two of Laws' co-conspirators also received jail sentences and restitution orders.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9