October 21 2014 Latest news:
Beth Wyatt, Reporter
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Two scammers have been jailed for 14 years in total after conning internet users out of more than £15,000, which was used to purchase UK travel tickets for foreign national offenders.
Constanta Agrigoroaie, 23, and Radu Savoae, 28, of Mornington Avenue, in Gants Hill, were sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court today 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 in prison, while Savoae was given eight years.
The criminals claimed to be from technology company Apple in emails sent to more than 150 people, which said their accounts had been compromised and they needed to update their details.
A link took the victims to a bogus website, where they updated their information - including their bank details.
Once the information was given, an email was sent directly to the scammers, which they used to take large quantities of money.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Service said: “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 uncovered and on February 26 detectives joined officers from Bedfordshire Police at Luton Airport for an operation.
An inbound flight from Romania was intercepted and six passengers who claimed they did not know each other were found to have had their tickets purchased from the same computer.
The purchase was traced to Agrigoroaie and Savoae’s address and they were later arrested.
Items recovered included blank credit cards, an embossing machine and hot foil tipping machine and a magnetic card reader to create cloned credit cards.
Officers also discovered fake Spanish and Romanian ID cards and vast quantities of money.
It was found the criminals had credit card numbers and personal details for more than 150 people globally.
More than £15,000 was stolen from UK victims.
Both Agrigoroaie and Savoae will be subject to financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Chief Supt Matt Bell, from the Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “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.”
A quad bike rider was in a critical condition in hospital last night after crashing into two vehicles.