A couple of fraudsters accused of stealing £1.5 million ($2.3 million or €1.9million) from unsuspecting students have been sentenced to prison by UK authorities.
On July 6, 27-year-old Damola Clement Olatunji was ordered to serve 6.5 years in prison for running a phishing scheme. Amos Njoroge Mwangi, aged 26, was sentenced to three years around one month ago.
There is no evidence that the two worked together, but both suspects relied on cleverly forged websites to steal information that would allow them to access the loan accounts of British students.
The whole scheme began with an email that alerted the students on the fact that they needed to update their loan account details.
As in many phishing campaigns, those who clicked on links were taken to a cleverly forged website that would request them to provide sensitive information.
Once they obtained the data, the crooks extracted large amounts of money from the victims’ accounts.
During the raids that targeted the residences of the two in Manchester and London, authorities seized a number of computers and storage units.
The devices were found to contain pieces of software used to create the clever phishing emails and the fake websites.
In Olatunji’s computers, investigators uncovered more than 1,300 student loan account login credentials. The evidence also indicated that the man might have stolen £75,000 ($115,000 or €94,000) from Halifax PLC customers.
“Mwangi and Olatunji were determined fraudsters who systematically targeted British students in order to steal large amounts of money,” said Detective Inspector Jason Tunn of the Metropolitan Police’s cybercrime unit.
“Despite the complexity of the investigation, PCeU investigators working closely with the Student Loan Company and other partners, were able to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.”
The other partners Tunn is referring to are representatives of the banking industry and Internet service providers.