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BT account scammers jailed for £358k fraud

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BT account scammers jailed for £358k fraud

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Hampshire Constabulary

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Clockwise from top left: Festus Emosivwe, Charles Onwu, Victor Ngo, Chloe Maylott, Olukayode Adepoju, Molade Fasuyi and Adel Qadir

Scammers who infiltrated BT's customer accounts as part of a "sophisticated" £ 358,000 fraud were arrested.

The gang targeted more than 2,000 people, predominantly in the Portsmouth area, between May 2014 and July 2016.

They used the details to set up Paypal accounts to order expensive items, which were delivered to addresses in the city controlled by the group.

Seven people were jailed for 16 to 44 months for their participation in the fraud.

An eighth accused was fined £ 1,000.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard the gang spend their money on Rolex watches, high-end jewelry, TVs and designer clothing.

The police carried out attacks after receiving information from BT, and the group's leader, Festus Emosivwe, 36, put a USB stick in his mouth and chewed it when the police arrested him, making data recovery impossible.

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Hampshire Constabulary

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The gang spent the money on luxury goods, including watches and jewelry

Prosecutor Michael Forster said the source of all the data leaks was not known, but there was evidence of phishing emails and police found manuals on computer security at Emosivwe's home.

He described it as "a sophisticated conspiracy" that "persisted for two years".

The lawyer said the gang had diverted customers' email addresses and phone numbers to accounts controlled by the group, meaning the victims were "left in the dark" until their money was spent fraudulently.

He said that while Paypal lost more money from the fraud, BT's customers suffered "anguish and inconvenience".

& # 39; Horror and Fury & # 39;

Condemning the group, Judge Timothy Mousley QC said: "The impact on its victims cannot be underestimated. Many had seriously increased levels of anxiety, stress and fear after discovering that their accounts had been hacked.

"Some expressed horror and fury at being deceived by you.

"Many were retirees who feared they would not be able to survive financially. Each of you is responsible for inflicting this misery on them."

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Geoffrey Noble said he experienced a "feeling of panic" when he realized he had been duped

One of the victims, 69-year-old Geoffrey Noble, told the BBC that he found that his details were used to buy $ 3,000 worth of goods shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer.

In a statement read on his behalf in court, he said he was "furious" with fraudsters, as "no one has the right to receive the money I worked so hard for".

"I felt panic and fear because I didn't know where this was going to end," he added.

The gang, which pleaded guilty to all charges, was condemned as follows:

  • Festus Emosivwe, 36, of Newcome Road, Portsmouth, was jailed for 44 months for conspiracy to commit fraud by misrepresentation.
  • Chloe Maylott, 27, of Purbrook Way, Havant, was jailed for 16 months for conspiracy to commit fraud for false representations.
  • Charles Onwu, 31, of Wells Close, Portsmouth, was jailed for 43 months for conspiracy to commit fraud for false representation
  • Victor Ngo, 30, of Lowestoft Road, Portsmouth, was jailed for 43 months for conspiracy to commit fraud for false representation and conspiracy to convert criminal property.
  • Pinelopi Chatzikonstantinou, 30, ex-Highlands Road, Southsea, was fined £ 1,000 and a victim surcharge of £ 100 for conspiring to convert criminal property.
  • Adel Qadir, 35, of Woofferton Road, Portsmouth, was jailed for 29 months for conspiracy to commit fraud for misrepresentation.
  • Molade Fasuyi, 37, of Methuen Road, Southsea, was jailed for two years for committing fraud for misrepresentation.
  • Olukayode Adepoju, 40, of London Road, Portsmouth, was jailed for 19 months for conspiring to commit fraud for false representations.

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