Recently there have been identity thefts with the use of “credit mules” posing as new or existing cell contract costumers. These posing consumers scammed thousands of free or subsidized phones from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.
According to previous lawsuits, in Taylor, Michigan U.S. Secret Service agents witnessed a few individuals walking with iPhone boxes and cell phone shopping bags into a store run by iBuy Express inc. After leaving the store, the individuals left the store without their boxes and bags. They only came out with loads of money in their pockets. After witnessing this, the agents looked into the store’s garbage and found receipts, bags, and empty boxes from AT&T, Verizon, Apple, Best Buy, and Radioshack. According to the suit, these credit mules scammed subsidized phones by using stolen IDs to sign new 2-year contracts with multiple carriers. This is a type of social engineering where they would pose as a fake customer and use the stolen IDs to gain access on these private phone plans and completely taking control of it.
In my opinion this could be very well achieved by anyone who gains access to cellular data from another individual. They may very well go through your trash and find phone receipts and personal contract information.