Somewhat Brilliant iTunes and Amazon Royalty Scam Gets Busted

So you have stolen a bunch of credit card numbers. Buying that 52 inch TV might raise some flags. How about you get a musician to upload some tracks to iTunes and Amazon, buy the tracks with your stolen information (all the while disguising your various locations of purchase), and collect the royalties? Actually, that sounds like a HUGE pain in the ass – just give me the damn TV already. Anyway, this is the scam that Denver White (if that is your real name) and 11 others were just busted running (via Telegraph).

DJ Denver, as he was known, and 11 others ran the scam and cost iTunes and Amazon as estimated £1 million in royalties. White produced tracks that were uploaded, and then bought with the stolen credit cards. In a detrimental advertisement for the software Hide My IP, the scammers were busted when their various IP addresses were not as well hidden as they had believed.

‘Somebody at iTunes noticed that a complete unknown from Wolverhampton called DJ Denver, also known as Denver White, operating entirely on his own, rather than through a record company and without any marketing that anybody could see, was selling so much on iTunes that his name featured in the volume sales charts,’ said Prosecutor Helen Malcolm. ‘He was selling so much and earning so much in the way of royalties he was selling at a rate you would expect from the likes of Madonna.’

How did they all get busted? One of the music services, Tunecore, was withholding money. A man calling himself Daniel Thompson kept calling and emailing to get the money. Tunecore were aware of the fraud investigation and played the part to perfection, saying that they couldn’t pay the money for tax reasons, and that he would have to go to New York in person to collect the money. They would pay for his tickets, and needed his real name and address. Game, set, match. The trial is still under way, and I am removing all of the PeteHatesMusic Hip Hop Cat Remixes that have been climbing up the charts for some mysterious reason.

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