Five students were arrested and sentenced from 15 to 30 months for using an app glitch to get unlimited KFC that amounted to losses totaling over $20,000 for the chicken chain.
Technology has made life easier in several aspects of life, from being able to grocery shop on your phone and have it sent to your door, to being able to buy a car without going to the lot. But of course, with the advancement of technology comes a lot of chance for finesses to happen and loopholes to be abused. One of the most infamous loophole abuses happened on Twitter when a Ralph Lauren employee code was leaked and everyone who saw the tweets earned 65% off the entire store. Ralph Lauren was a good sport and still shipped orders with next day shipping and orders for clearance items they needed to get rid of anyway. But that’s not always how things turn out
A 23-year-old university student, identified as Xu, swindled KFC out of £6,500 worth of free food in just six months after he first discovered the loophole in its mobile application in 2018.
He then shared the secret with four of his friends and five of them together carried out fraud of worth £15,500 of chicken before they were busted by police Xu was jailed for two and a half years and fined £700 while his friends were jailed for period between 13 months and two years. He first discovered the glitch when he accidentally found out he can buy food using vouchers from KFC’s phone application but get a refund of the coupons by using WeChat app.
Ever since Xu started getting free food from KFC for himself and shared the scheme with his friends. He also started selling the food to his friends at cut-price to make profits without paying anything. The five of them were eventually busted and Xu pleaded guilty for using the glitch to get free chicken as well as sharing the information with his friends.
While there has been outrage over the harsh punishment on paper, the charges sound a lot worse than what actually happened. The court saw the students using this opportunity for free food as using criminal methods to manipulate data and commit fraud, which sounds way worse then getting free food from an app glitch. Due to where this occurred, its very unlikely it will be overturned, but this sends a clear message to anyone else who discovered a quick finesse on a corporate application.