Big topic. The schemes are many.

  1. You're walking down the street and someone asks to use your cell phone. She looks harmless enough and so you say sure, and hand her the phone.
  2. One of two things may happen next. She runs away with your new $250 phone. Or, as you hand it to her, a skateboarder comes by and grabs it out of her hand and then is gone before you can possibly catch him. In either scenario you are out a phone.
  3. Note, this same scam is prevalent among the laptop community. One moment it's there ... and the minute it's been stolen and is on its way to the local fence.  
    Cloning is still around. The good guys are making it a lot harder to do it, but it is still going on.

Pre pay phones with stolen minutes, Crooks have found numerous ways to steal minutes. Some of these ways have been discovered and the flaws in the system have been successfully plugged. But just like any other form of criminal fraud behavior, once the investigative community solves one kind of fraud, the crooks rethink it and bring it back with a twist.