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Fraudsters jailed over mobile phone scam

Three men have been jailed over a “sophisticated” scam to defraud mobile phone firm Vodafone out of £161,000.

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The three men aged 51, 42 and 35 were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court over the scam which involved convincing Vodafone customers into handing over personal details and passwords to their mobile accounts.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said the fraudsters used these details to order “high value” handsets from Vodafone, before intercepting the phones on delivery to customers’ homes and selling on them in the middle east.

West Yorkshire Police's Economic Crime Unit launched a fraud investigation last year after detectives were alerted to some suspicious activities on one of the men’s account which revealed Vodafone had been systematically defrauded to a value of £161,000.

All three men pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit fraud by false representation and where jailed for a total of four years and eight months.

Sophisticated fraud

Detective Constable Melanie Lewis, who lead the investigation said "This in depth investigation revealed a sophisticated fraud. Almost 40 genuine Vodafone customer accounts, both personal and business accounts were attacked by fraud with in excess of 320 handsets obtained by fraudulent means".

"These fraudsters ran up bills of thousands of pounds, in the names of those customers whose accounts were accessed, by ordering high value mobile phone handsets. The handsets were used by the fraudsters themselves by using airtime without any regard for anyone who would ultimately have to pay the bill."

Read more about this story on West Yorkshire Police website.

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