Categories: SecurityWorkspace

Phishing Crook Jailed Over Attempts To Steal £1.5m From Students

A man has been sentenced to three years and nine months for his part in a phishing scam that attempted to steal as much as £1.5 million from students.

Olajide Onikoyi was part of a phishing campaign that sent emails to students telling them they needed to update their loan details, and pointing them to a bogus website. From there, the attackers convinced victims to hand over their bank account details.

He was arrested on 9 January 2013, after previous raids during the investigation had identified him as a key participant. Officers recovered chat logs from cyber crime forums, further implicating Onikoyi.

Phishing scam

Those logs indicated Onikoyi was working alongside digital crooks from Russia, Lithuania and the UK. He successfully stole £393,000 from 238 victims in total, but had attempted to defraud many more.

His sentencing follows those of Damola Clement Olatunji, Amos Njoroge Mwangi, Christopher Inokwere and Ruth Smith-Ajala, who were all convicted of similar crimes targeting students.

Detective Chief Inspector Jason Tunn, of the MPS Cyber Crime Unit, said: “My officers worked doggedly to secure Onikoyi’s conviction. They examined numerous leads to identify members of this phishing gang, of which Onikoyi was a key member.

“He played a significant role in the scam by systematically targeting British students and UK financial institutions in order to steal large amounts of money that were then dispersed across numerous bank accounts.

“We’ve had a number of bank accounts and properties connected to Onikoyi restrained under the Proceeds of Crime Act. This is now subject to a financial investigation.”

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Thomas Brewster

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

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