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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Emigre Couple Netted in Cellular Scam

NEW YORK -- Two Russian emigres have been charged with stealing 80,000 cellular phone numbers from passing motorists, the largest such heist in U.S. history, the U.S. Secret Service says. Abraham Romy and Irina Bashkavich held a high-powered scanner out a window of their Brooklyn apartment to pick up cellular phone information from motorists driving by, said Brian Gimlett, head of the Secret Service in New York. The couple, recent immigrants from Russia, cloned more than 80,000 cellular phone numbers -- including the personal identification numbers designed for extra security, authorities said. Once the numbers were stolen, they could be transferred to other phones for resale. If all the numbers had been illegally cloned into other phones, the scam could have resulted in up to $80 million in illegal calls, Gimlett said. But he said agents did not believe all the numbers had been distributed. Gimlett called it ""the largest seizure of compromised telephone numbers in the U.S.

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