Douglas Havard, an American citizen based in Britain, was jailed for six years after raking in UK£700,000 through an internet phishing scam - though that's only the confirmed figure. His accomplice Lee Elwood received four years.
The National High Tech Crime unit had mounted a lengthy investigation and when searching Havard's flat, found blank cards, faked passports and driving licences and the machines used for the forgeries. Once the details of ordinary identities of tricked online banking users were stolen by Russian hackers, the details would be cloned to the blank cards and used for fraudulent e-commerce and cash withdrawls in the UK and US. In addition to this sentence, Havard is now wanted by US authorities in connection with the frauds perpetrated on American soil and the extradition process between the two countries has begun.
"Internet fraud is on the increase and we work with our colleagues in law enforcement across the globe to stamp down on those criminals using other people's identities to steal. We hope that these sentences deliver a tough message to anybody either thinking about or actually using other people's identities to steal." said DS Mick Deats, Deputy Head of the NHTCU.
So in spite of one victory for the Police, the need to stay alert and not trust scam emails has never been more important, not to mention cache clearing for your browser and keeping security software up to date. If you think it's too much of a pain, ID theft is a lot worse.
Quote Source: BBC