Five men sent to prison for 10 million GBP online fraud

An arrested and handcuffed man

According to the Metropolitan Police of the United Kingdom, a gang of five online fraudsters has been convicted and jailed for offenses relating to a 10 million GBP payment diversion fraud. Officers based in the North West London Economic Crime Unit identified a total of 235 separate frauds committed from 2014 to 2019.

The primary method employed by the gang was the use of malware to steal the login credentials of email accounts belonging to businesses and private individuals worldwide. This would allow the fraudsters to monitor the chosen email accounts for high-value financial transactions. Having identified a legitimate financial transaction between two parties, email conversations were intercepted and spoof emails sent so that victims were duped into paying funds into UK based mule bank accounts controlled by the fraudsters instead of their intended legitimate destination.

Another method involved conning victims out of thousands of pounds by selling investments in Binary currency trading schemes that did not exist.

Victims ranged from high profile individuals and organisations to private individuals who thought that they were paying money to their conveyancing solicitor during a property transaction.

In order for the fraud to operate, a ready supply of mule accounts was needed. A total of 100 mule accounts featured in this investigation.

Both domestic and overseas victims can report online fraud to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which helps to investigate and track responsible criminals.

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- 03 March 2020 - EN