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Fraud ring allegedly used stolen identities to call premium numbers, racking up $8 million in bills

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Phone providers like AT&T and T-Mobile were left on the short end of a decade-long fraud scheme that cost the companies at least $8 million, according to the United States District Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, and now a suspect has been arrested in relation to the case. Allegations say that conspirators used over 1,000 stolen identities (almost half of which belonged to members of the US military) to purchase SIM cards that were then used to dial premium international phone numbers, like adult phone chat lines that can charge $1 per minute. When providers went to bill the subscribers, they were unable to collect any funds and were forced to foot the bill themselves because the accounts were connected to identity theft victims. One suspect, 49-year-old Amadou Dia of Manhattan, has been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit identity theft, and aggravated identity theft for his alleged involvement in the scheme. It's presumed that he and his conspirators worked with the international premium phone line companies to share the ill-gotten funds.