Two people have been jailed for a total of 14 years for their part in a phishing scam to steal more than £15,000, which was then used to bring foreign national offenders into the UK to commit crime.
23 year old Constanta Agrigoroaie and 28 year old Radu Savoae of Ilford were sentenced after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, six counts of possession of fraudulent ID cards and possessing equipment to make fraudulent ID and bank cards.
Agrigoroaie was sentenced to six years imprisonment and Savoae was sentenced to eight years imprisonment.
Claiming to be from Apple
The scammers sent emails claiming to be from Apple to over 150 victims, informing them their account had been compromised and to update their details via a link to a bogus website.
When the unsuspecting victims updated their information, including bank details, an email was sent directly to the defendants, which they used to extract large amounts of money.
This money was then used to purchase travel tickets to allow foreign national offenders to enter the UK to commit crime – many crimes being on London’s transport network.
The scam was identified by detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service and Bedfordshire Police in February.
Police raided their property
When police raided their property a number of laptops, iPads, printers and USB’s were recovered -including a vast quantity of blank credit cards, an embossing machine, a hot foil tipping machine, and a magnetic card reader used to manufacture cloned credit cards. Also found were fake Spanish and Romanian ID cards and a large quantity of money.
Forensication of the IT equipment revealed in excess of 150 credit card numbers and personal details of unknown people around the globe. More than £15,000 was stolen from UK victims.
Both defendants will now be subject to financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Chief Superintendent Matt Bell, Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “This ‘phishing’ duo took advantage of many internet users and duped them into providing their personal information. However as a result of a tireless investigation by the RTPC, they have been jailed which has no doubt prevented numerous bank customers from becoming victims of this crime.
“It is so important that internet users are aware of the risks posed by cyber criminals. Today’s sentence is testament to how serious this type of crime is and should stand as a deterrent to anyone who might consider undertaking ‘phishing’ scams.”
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