Three men sentenced for £4 million phishing rampage

Trio face 13.5 years in prison

Three men behind in a phishing gang police believe stole over £4 million ($6.3 million) from credit cards and online bank accounts in the UK and Ireland have been sentenced to a total of 13.5 years in jail.

Arrested as part of the Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit's (PCeU) Operation Dynamaphone in August 2010, the trio, Ayodeji John Kareem, Vincent Alonge, and Babatunde Fafore, were accused of a fraud rampage that included the compromise of 900 online bank accounts and 10,000 credit cards.

The exact amount stolen is still not clear with the official figure recorded as at least £599,000 from compromised bank accounts and £570,000 of credit card fraud. Police believe the true credit card fraud figure was closer to £3.1 million with further unknown sums taken from bank accounts, which puts takes the scam over the £4 million mark, the largest of its type yet prosecuted in the UK.

The crime's modus operandi involved the standard phishing design of luring victims to around 40 bogus bank web pages using emails, a criminal enterprise normally associated with offshore gangs beyond the reach of the UK police in Eastern Europe.

As simple as the operation was, much police time was taken up researching the network used by the men to stash their stolen proceeds. Some of it will likely never be recovered.

"These men profited enormously by taking advantage of the trust that many of us would place in an internet service that appeared genuine, but their enjoyment of their ill-gotten gains was short-lived," said Crown Prosecution Service Central Fraud Group lawyer, David Levy.

Police haven't described in detail the timeline of the men's criminal activities but it is believed to be over a matter of months. As much as police have trumpeted the successful prosecution of the gang as a deterrent to others the fact remains that three men lacking any particular expertise were in a short period able to steal millions of pounds from banks accounts and credit cards using a relatively simple Internet scam.

Facing up to 21 years in prison, the three were given lower sentences after pleading guilty at earlier hearings.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Personal TechsecurityMetropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit

More about etwork

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by John E Dunn

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts