Iranian celebrities caught in $35 million iPhone scam

Apple's iPhone 15 is in great demand in Iran

Thousands of Iranians were scammed for a total of 35 million dollars, offering half-price iPhones with celebrity endorsements.

Apple does not do business in Iran itself due to US sanctions, but companies buy iPhones and import them, sometimes individually and sometimes in bulk. One of the companies that claimed The company that did it, Tehran-based Kourosh Company, also said it could sell iPhones for $700.

Over the course of several months, owner Amir Hossein Sharifian managed to boost sales by leveraging vocal support from Iranians, according to the Financial Times. celebrities. In each case, customers were told to wait 45 days for iPhones to be delivered, which never arrived.

Protesters subsequently picketed the Tehran police headquarters, demanding action against the Kourosh company. In the meantime, however, Sharifian reportedly left Iran many months ago.

Iranian police announced that they had found Sharifian. Although they have not revealed his whereabouts, they say he will be extradited back to Iran through Interpol.

For his part, Sharifian said that he only owes his clients the equivalent of approximately $2.7 million.

Even the reported $35 million is a fraction of the roughly $1 billion worth of iPhones that local media reported were imported over the past 10 months. However, after purchase, buyers are faced with the fact that Apple is also limiting its services in the region.

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