Two men charged with conspiracy to defraud over phishing scam
Two men have been charged in connection with a £1m email scam, which conned hundreds of students into giving out their bank details.
The police said that between £1,000 and £5,000 was drained from students' bank accounts, after they were tricked into giving their account details to a fake version of the Student Loans Company website.
The Police eCrime Unit (PeCU), which is run by the Metropolitan police, arrested Amos Mwangi, 25 of London and Damola Olatunji, 26, of Manchester, on charges of conspiracy to defraud. Both have been remanded in custody and will appear in court on 17 February 2012.
Three other men, along with two women, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and money-laundering offences. One of the women and another man were arrested in London, the other woman in Manchester, and the two men in Bolton. They have all been bailed until March.
Detective inspector Mark Raymond said in a statement: "A great deal of personal information was compromised and cleverly exploited for substantial profits. We have disrupted a suspected organised group of cyber criminals and prevented further loss to individuals and institutions in the UK."
The fraud first came to light in August when the PeCU began investigating. Students were targetted with emails purporting to come from the Student Loan Company. They were asked to click on a link that took them to a page set up to look like the official site and prompted to input their usernames and passwords in order to get payments.
A follow up warning about the scam was posted by DirectGov in October to alert students to the ongoing danger.
The Met told us that it is not yet known if there are more people involved in this fraud as of yet, or where the money is. The police said the investigation was still "ongoing". The police said computers and other devices are being examined as "they follow the trail".
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