In the largest scam against Cisco, run from April 2016, according to court documents [PDF] filed in eastern district court of Pennsylvania, May and the team set up domains and email addresses to mimic cisco.com user IDs and harvested serial numbers of legit machinery. They then used these to trick Cisco into sending out replacement kit, such as a Cisco Catalyst 3850-48P-E Switch worth around $21,000 at the time, and a couple of Cisco ASR 9001 routers priced at over $100,000 for the pair. The same scam worked well for Microsoft and Lenovo too, it seems. The court docs note that May was skilled at picking imaginary faults that weren’t remotely repairable, such as basic software issues, but which were more obvious as serious flaws needing a replacement unit. In addition the crew digitally altered images of their supposed kit and serial numbers to fool support staff. Once the hardware was received, usually via UPS or FedEx, the companies never got the faulty kit back because it never existed. Meanwhile the packages were picked up, sold on eBay and other second-hand sites, and the cash pocketed, or in the case of Microsoft, some of the hardware shipped to Singapore for resale.
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