A Bethnal Green barber who hacked into customers’ online banking accounts and transferred money to himself has been given a suspended prison sentence of two years.
Abdellah Soud, 48, of Patriot Square, Bethnal Green, was convicted at Inner London Crown Court of making illegal transfers worth £5,400 in February and May 2013.
He accessed customers’ accounts through false representation, pretending he was authorised to transfer money when he was not and hacking into customer accounts. The fraud was spotted after a customer complained to the bank.
He was ordered to pay £1,500 in costs, had to forfeit £2,080 of seized cash, plus a home cinema system. In addition, the victim that reported him was refunded.
Officers found evidence of fraud on his mobile phones, laptops and paperwork at his address along with two false French passports.
Soud pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a false passport, one count of fraud by false representation relating to account takeover and one of possession of personal information and bank details for fraudulent purposes.
Detective Constable Dave Hughes, of the Metropolitan Police Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), said: “This case sends a message to criminals committing online banking fraud that they will be caught and brought to justice.
“Fraudsters are increasingly sophisticated and rely on obtaining your personal or security details to commit their crimes, so it is vital that everyone follows the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign and keeps their personal information safe.”
According to Financial Fraud Action UK, in 2016, the UK lost £2 million each day as a result of financial fraud. Figures show that during the year there was an incident every 17 seconds.
Find out more about FFA UK and financial crime statistics: FFA Annual Review 2017.
Find out how to report if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime at Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime.