by ‘Jola Sotubo
A Nigerian man living in the United Kingdom has been sentenced to spend 3 years in prison for fraud.
Olajide Onikoyi, 29, hacked into various banks and removed money from the accounts of 238 people before he was finally arrested by the Cyber Crime Unit of the UK Met Police.
Onikoyi carried out the fraud by sending scam emails to students and tricking them into divulging personal account details. He then hacked into their accounts and took out money.
The Telegraph reports:
During trial, the London’s Southwark Crown Court heard that Onikoyi broke into the bank accounts of hundreds of UK students after tricking them with bogus emails inviting them to update details on their student loan account via a link to a bogus website.
When the site was accessed by the unsuspecting victims, Onikoyi was able to gain unauthorized access to their bank accounts and extract large amounts of money.
Onikoyi laundered £393,000 from 238 victims in total, with one alone having £19,000 taken from their account.
When police seized his computer, they found chat logs from cyber-crime forums that revealed he was conspiring with criminals in Russia, Lithuania and the UK.
A number of other people have also been jailed over the scam which police say involved a total of £1.5m stolen from unauthorised access to accounts.
Onikoyi pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison for conspiracy to defraud and nine months for money laundering, to run consecutively.
Detective Chief Inspector Jason Tunn of the Met Police’s 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.”