The 35-year-old website allowed criminals and fraudsters to pretend to be calling from banks and tax offices to scam victims.
as if News reporter Daniel Binns
Fri 19 May 2023 13:23, UK
A man who used a multi-million pound scam website to trick people into handing over their bank details has been jailed.
Tejay Fletcher, 35; He pleaded guilty to running an iSpoof.A website that allows criminals and fraudsters to pretend to be calling from banks, tax offices and other authorities in order to defraud victims.
They have presented as representatives of banks including Barclays, Santander, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax, First Direct, Nat West, National and TSB.
Total fraud losses enabled by ISPoff in the UK exceeded £43m, with total global losses estimated to be at least £100m.
Judge Sally Cahill Casey sentenced Fletcher to 13 years and four months in prison on Friday.
“It was a tragedy for all the victims,” she told him, but added that he “didn’t care” about them at the time.
“A delayed expression of remorse is more regret for getting caught than sympathy for your victims,” she says.
At one point, up to 20 people every minute were being targeted by criminals using technology bought from ISPoff by calling masked phone numbers.
One victim lost £3m. Among the 4,785 people who said they had been targeted in the action scam, the average lost was £10,000.
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A woman who made £500,000 in return for stolen goods has been charged.
But the total number of victims worldwide is thought to have been around 200,000. Of the 10 million scam calls made, 40% were in the US, 35% were in the UK and the rest were spread across other countries.
Fletcher, who has 18 previous convictions for 36 offences, founded and ran the website in December 2020, earning around £2m. cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
At its peak, Met had 59,000 users. It also offers tools to find passwords and PINs, as well as scam call technology.
Scammers pay hundreds or even thousands of pounds a month for the encrypted messaging channel Telegram’s marketed features.
The court heard Fletcher apparently used the proceeds to buy a £230,000 Lamborghini and also spent a total of £120,000 on two Range Rovers for him and his girlfriend.
Police found a cash register, jewelery and an £11,000 Rolex in the house.
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The fraudster was caught following what the Metropolitan Police had previously done. It has been described as the biggest fraud investigation.
Simon Baker Casey, defending, said Fletcher had no idea when he set up the website it would be used for such a large-scale fraud.
But the judge told Fletcher: “Like any successful business, you never know how successful and profitable your business will be.”
“A complex and challenging issue.”
Earlier at Southwark Crown Court in April, he pleaded guilty to making or supplying materials used to commit a crime, to encourage or assist the commission of a crime, to possess criminal property and to transfer criminal property.
Police said that an additional 169 people were arrested in connection with the website, and the investigation into fraud using the technology is ongoing.
Kate Anderson, deputy chief prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “The cost to the many victims of this case has had a huge emotional impact, not only financial, but also huge distress and devastation for those affected – many of whom have been robbed of their life savings.
“This was a complex and challenging case, and I would like to thank the Metropolitan Police and the many national and international law enforcement partners who worked with the CPS to bring us the evidence.”
She added: “We will continue to work with detectives to bring the fraudsters who used the website to justice and will pursue confiscation proceedings to recover the money Fletcher made from his crime.”
“We hope this case will encourage anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of fraud to come forward and report it to the police.”
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