Three men who successfully stole millions of pounds in a concerted phishing campaign have been jailed for a total of 13 years and six months.
The trio - Ayodeji John Kareem, Vincent Alonge and Babatunde Fafore - were arrested last August following an investigation by the Met's Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU).
In what police call a "sophisticated and concerted attack" on the UK and international banking system, the defendants compromised over 900 bank accounts and 10,000 credit cards.
They did this by sending out unsolicited e-mails purporting to be from victims' banks pointing to fake Web pages asking for account details. Detectives found the computer scripts necessary to operate forty such bogus bank Web-pages in the defendants possession.
The crooks attempted bank account takeover fraud amounting to as much as £1.13 million, successfully stealing over £599,000. The amount stolen from compromised credit cards is not yet known but police estimate losses total over £3 million.
The jailed men communicated with other members of their gang online, sending details of compromised accounts around the world.
David Levy, reviewing lawyer, CPS Central Fraud Group, says: "These men profited enormously by taking advantage of the trust that many of us would place in an internet service that appeared genuine, but their enjoyment of their ill-gotten gains was short-lived. The bogus emails and websites that led victims into the scam also led the authorities to the scammers."
Kareem pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court, receiving three and a half years for conspiracy to defraud plus five years and five months for conspiracy to acquire and use criminal property. Fafore pleaded guilty to the same offences, receiving four years and five years and seven months. Alonge was given six months and a second sentence of two years after pleading guilty to different fraud-related charges.