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Prison Sentence for Financial Fraud

Total losses as a result of financial fraud involving payment cards, remote banking and cheques amounted to £755 million in the UK in 2015, according to Financial Fraud Action (FFA) UK. This is an increase of 26% compared to the previous year.

FFA UK also reports that prevented fraud i.e. frauds detected and prevented by banks and credit card providers, amounted to £1.76 billion in 2015.

According to FFA UK, the rise in financial fraud during 2015 is apparently partly due to an increase in the incidence of impersonation and deception scams, and also increasingly sophisticated online attacks.

Tackling Financial Fraud

FFA UK is an organisation tackling financial fraud on behalf of the UK payments industry. As part of this role, it sponsors the Dedicated Card and Payments Crime Unit, which is made up of officers from the Metropolitan and City of London police forces who work alongside banking industry fraud investigators and support staff.

The DCPCU was established in April 2002, and since then has apparently achieved an estimated £479 million in savings from reduced fraud activity.

The DCPCU was recently involved in a case that resulted in a man being jailed for three years for fraud.

The 27-year-old from east London had been the subject of two separate DCPCU investigations for stealing card details from customers at the shop where he worked. He used the details to load funds onto travel money cards, which were then used to purchase luxury goods from pawn shops. 

Stealing Customer Details

When he was arrested investigators from DCPCU found that he had stolen the details of 139 cards, issued by a number of banks and card issuers. 

He stole confidential customer account details while an employee at a Vodafone store in Oxford Street. The stolen card details were used to make purchases online and he was reported to the DCPCU after Vodafone and HSBC provided evidence that showed he was the common point of compromise for a number of bank cards on which fraud had occurred. 

In a separate DCPCU investigation, the same man was arrested for using compromised bank cards to load £5,000 onto a travel money card. An accomplice of his used the travel money card to buy phones and gold jewellery from two pawnbrokers; CCTV showed the suspect was present at both scenes. 

The compromised bank card used to load funds onto the travel money card belonged to a customer the suspect had served at Vodafone. 

Custodial Sentence

In total, the man was found to have committed fraud worth £95,000 and attempted a further £96,000, with the crimes committed between October 2012 and October 2014. 

He pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position of trust at the Old Bailey and was sentenced to three years in jail.

“Would-be fraudsters need to know many organisations are looking out for their criminal activity and will ensure they are brought to justice,” commented Det Insp Sarah Ward, of the DCPCU. 

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