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Iranian celebrities caught up in $35 million iPhone scam


Apple’s iPhone 15 is highly sought-after in Iran

Thousands of Iranians have been scammed out of a total of $35 million in a con offering half-price iPhonea, backed by celebrity endorsement.

Apple does not do business in Iran itself, following US sanctions, but businesses do buy iPhones and import them, sometimes individually, and sometimes in bulk. One business that claimed to do this, Kourosh Company of Tehran, further said that it was able to sell iPhones for $700.

According to the Financial Times, for several months, owner Amir Hossein Sharifian was able to drive up sales using high-profile endorsements from Iranian celebrities. In each case, the buyers were told to wait 45 days for delivery of their iPhones, which then never came.

Subsequently, there have been protesters picketing Tehran’s police headquarters demanding action against the Kourosh Company. In the meantime, however, Sharifian reportedly left Iran many months ago.

Even the reported $35 million is a small proportion of the approximately $1 billion worth of iPhones that local media says has been imported over the last 10 months. Once bought, though, buyers face having to work around how Apple also restricts its services in the region.



This story originally appeared on Appleinsider

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