Two people have been sentenced to a total of 14 years in prison for conducting a Phishing campaign that targeted banking details. The criminals accused, Constanta Agrigoroaie, 23, and Radu Savoae, 28, used the stolen funds as a means to bring foreign criminals into the U.K.
Agrigoroaie was sentenced to six years for her role, while Savoae was handed eight years imprisonment for his role in the scheme by Snaresbrook Crown Court last week.
In all, the two stole £15,000 GBP ($25,560 USD) from victims in the U.K.
According to a police report, the two sent Phishing emails claiming to be from Apple to more than 150 people, informing them that their account had been compromised. The email included a link to a spoofed website, which asked for both personal and financial information.
The harvested information was then used to drain the victim's bank account, and the money was put towards travel arrangements for foreign criminals, who police say planned to conduct various criminal acts on London's transportation network (pick-pocketing) and other petty crimes.
The scam itself was discovered in February.
An inbound flight from Romania was intercepted by police at Luton Airport. Six passengers, who claimed they didn't know each other, were found to have tickets that were all purchased from the same computer.
Investigators later discovered the address where the tickets were purchased, and when police searched the residence in April, they discovered Agrigoroaie at a desk browsing European travel websites.
Moreover, she had a script open "showing a vast amount of personal details, including bankcard details with the full 16-digit number, expiry date and CVV number as well as their home addresses."
Savoae was later arrested as he attempted to enter the property with police present.
During the search, police found a number of items, including cash, fake Spanish and Romanian IDs, laptops, iPads, printers, and USBs among a vast quantity of blank credit cards.
Moreover, they discovered an embossing machine, hot foil tipping machine, and magnetic card reader – all the things needed to manufacture cloned credit cards.
"This 'phishing' duo took advantage of many internet users and duped them into providing their personal information," said Roads and Transport Policing Command Chief Superintendent, Matt Bell, in a statement.
He added that the sentences are a "testament to how serious this type of crime is" and that they should stand as a deterrent to anyone who might consider undertaking similar acts.