A Californian man faces up to 30 years in prison for a phishing scam that stole the credit and debit card numbers of AOL customers.
Jeffrey Brett Goodin, 45, of Azusa, California, is alleged to have tricked AOL users into handing over their payment card details by sending out fake e-mails dressed up as ones from the AOL billing department.
The e-mails requested that the recipients update the billing information of their accounts, and included a link to a fake AOL website where they were persuaded to input the details.
Goodin is alleged to have sent out thousands of the e-mails. He is said to have illegally used the payment card details he farmed from his victims.
He is charged with wire fraud and the unauthorised use of an access device (a payment card).
If convicted of both offences, Goodin faces a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Phishing continues to be a problem. According to the industry Anti-Phishing Working Group, e-mail fraudsters sent out 17,000 unique phishing e-mails in November 2005.