Apple fraudsters get jail time for £15,000 phishing scam

Phishers targeted Apple customers with emails claiming their accounts had been compromised

Two criminals have received prison sentences for a phishing scam that defrauded more than £15,000 from at least 150 Apple customers.

Constanta Agrigoroaie, 23, and Radu Savoae, 28, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, six counts of possession of fraudulent ID cards and possessing equipment to make fraudulent ID and bank cards. Agrigoroaie and Savoae received six and eight-year jail sentences respectively, at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday.

The phishers targeted customers with malicious email messages purporting to come from Apple. The emails claimed the victim’s Apple account had been compromised and needed to be reset, and contained a link to a fake password-reset site that collected the victim’s personal information and bank details.

Chief superintendent of roads and transport policing command (RTPC) Matt Bell, listed the sentencing as a key victory in the war on cyber crime, but warned the fraudsters’ success shows internet users are still not aware enough about online safety.

“This phishing duo took advantage of many internet users and duped them into providing their personal information. However, as a result of a tireless investigation by the RTPC they have been jailed, which has no doubt prevented numerous bank customers from becoming victims of this crime,” he said.

“It is so important that internet users are aware of the risks posed by cyber criminals. Today’s sentence is testament to how serious this type of crime is and should stand as a deterrent to anyone who might consider undertaking phishing scams.”

Improving UK businesses’ and citizens’ cyber awareness is an ongoing goal of the UK government’s Cyber Security Strategy. The government launched a Cyber Streetwise campaign in January to help educate small UK businesses about cyber best practice.

Agrigoroaie and Savoae are two of many cyber criminals to receive jail sentences in recent weeks. Estonian hacker Andrei Sergejev was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday for his involvement in digital fraud campaign.

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