Indonesian twins allegedly score IDR35 billion in iPhone reseller scam

An iPhone 14 Pro Max and an iPhone 14 Pro. Photo: Apple
An iPhone 14 Pro Max and an iPhone 14 Pro. Photo: Apple

A pair of Indonesian twins is on the police’s radar for allegedly pulling off a lucrative scam involving Apple iPhones.

According to reports, R and R have claimed that they were official suppliers of the premium device since 2021, duping resellers with attractive deals.

Their alleged victims have told local media outlets that they were initially tempted to purchase iPhones at around IDR500K (US$33.7) below the retail price from the twins, which the resellers would then sell on for profit.

While the victims would receive the goods for the first few orders, the twins would just ghost them after receiving money for subsequent – often larger – orders.

R and R’s alleged victims took to social media to share their woes, believing that they have collectively lost approximately IDR35 billion (US$3.26 million). Individually, some claimed to have been scammed out of up to IDR5 billion (US$337,300).

The South Jakarta Metro Police, who have launched an investigation into the case, said that the twins have not yet been charged but they have failed to meet two summons for questioning. A warrant for their interrogation has been issued.

Authorities believe that the twins recently fled their residence in South Tangerang to Surabaya, East Java.

The Center for Financial Transaction Reporting and Analysis (PPATK) said today that it has frozen 21 bank accounts belonging to the twins after it noticed a recent “significant” cash transaction by the alleged scammers, which they likely obtained from the iPhone scam.The Ministry of Trade confirmed that one of the twins was a non-permanent employee at the institution’s legal department.

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