Ilford teenager admits posting fake car insurance policy ads on Gumtree
10:23 04 January 2013
A teenager who posted fraudulent adverts online promising cheap car insurance to con motorists is facing jail.
Shujel Miah, 18, had a catalogue of fake cover policies and posted four adverts on the classified ad website Gumtree from his bedroom in Brisbane Road, Ilford.
But the cut price deals were worthless because they offered no cover at all,
The part-time shop worker was caught when police searched his home and found fake Halifax policy documents on his computer, City of London Magistrates’ Court heard.
His “crazy plan” made no attempt to disguise his identity and the adverts were traced back to him when officers asked the website to provide the details of the user who posted them.
Prosecutor Elizabeth Bancroft said officers managed to intercept one agreed deal before any money changed hands.
She said: “They searched his home address and recovered a computer that was subjected to forensic analysis, and there were spreadsheets relating to policy documents and Halifax details.
“There is evidence of planning - this was not a spontaneous decision.
“He didn’t make any gain but the fraud relates to putting the adverts on the site.”
The court heard how the teenager, who was 17 at the time he tried the scam, worked part-time in a Next clothing store in Exchange Ilford and had received one reprimand when just 14 for theft.
David Harter, defending, said the simplicity of what he called a “crazy plan” showed that Miah, who admitted all the charges, was not a sophisticated criminal.
Magistrates adjourned sentencing until January 15 but warned the teenager he may still be committed to the crown court because of the severity of the scam.
Miah admitted four counts of fraud by false representation and one count of possessing an article for use in fraud.