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Phishing scammers jailed for attempted £59m fraud

An estimated £59m worth of fraud has been prevented in the UK after three men were convicted for launching a sophisticated phishing scam to access the accounts of bank customers in 14 countries.

Phishing emails

The Met Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU), the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), and the US Secret Service acted on intelligence of more than 2,600 phishing pages that mimicked banking websites.

The fake pages were designed to dupe victims into logging on to them and providing their banking credentials. The trio were gathering data and stealing money from countries all over the world including the UK, USA, China, Russia and Australia.

Traced to a luxury hotel in the UK

The men behind the scam were traced to the UK, staying in a luxury hotel in London and caught red-handed using laptops to log into servers storing compromised banking data.

Following the arrests, officers discovered servers containing details of 30,000 bank customers – 12,500 of which were in the UK and 70 million customer email addresses to be used in phishing scams.

Jailed for a total of 20 years

The men called Inout Caraman, Adrian Iorgovean and Sunday Godday Etu have been jailed for a total of 20 years. Evidence presented by the Financial Fraud Bureau shows that up to £59m worth of fraud from the UK victims alone was prevented by the trio's conviction.

Investigating officer DI Jason Tunn, of the MPS PCeU, said: "These convictions have struck a major and decisive blow against this global cyber crime gang. Quite what they have managed to steal is yet to be determined but their conviction has prevented them from systematically defrauding thousands more bank customers across the world.

"This is by far the biggest case the PCeU has dealt with to date and is likely to be the biggest cyber phishing case so far in the UK.

For further information visit Met Police website.

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