Online fraudsters get 10 years


Online fraudsters get 10 years

Antony Savvas

A British court has sentenced two men to a total of 10 years for their part in a conspiracy to defraud and launder money from the proceeds of internet crime.

The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) is currently investigating a conspiracy by Eastern European gangs to target UK banks and steal from customers’ bank accounts using phishing scams.

As part of their investigations, officers from the NHTCU arrested two men, one a US citizen, last June. The US man was also wanted by police across the Atlantic on charges of counterfeiting and armed robbery.

The two men ran a UK syndicate which used identities and bank account information to remove money from accounts via ATM machines, to buy and sell goods online, and use cloned credit cards. The NHTCU estimated that the pair had stolen at least £750,000 over a 10-month period.

The US man admitted receiving credit card information and account passwords from unnamed Russian individuals, who subsequently received a cut of the proceeds back in Russia via money transfer agencies.

The pair also purchased goods using compromised credit cards and employed people to receive those goods and sell them via online auction sites. These people pocketed a small fee and then sent the balance to the pair.

After taking their cut they would forward the rest of the cash via money exchange facilities to people in Russia who had supplied them with the original data.

The convicted pair were both heavily involved in “carding” websites, which promoted and facilitated credit and debit card fraud, and the production and sale of false identification documents.

The US citizen was given six years in prison. A man from Glasgow was jailed for four years.

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