News and resources on cyber and physical threats to banks and fintechs worldwide.
Man who rigged up voice changer to Barclays 2FA unit convicted for fraud

Man who rigged up voice changer to Barclays 2FA unit convicted for fraud

A man who built a jerry-rigged device that he used to con people into thinking they were talking to their bank has been sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Tony Muldowney-Colston was charged with nine counts of possession of an article for use in fraud and two counts of making or supplying an article for use in fraud.

The bizarre device, which seems to be made up out of bits of old DJ kit, was used to alter the perpetrator's voice to fit different ages and genders. It is estimated Muldowney-Colston pildered in excess of £500,000 from the accounts he accessed.

A police raid on his home in June found a hard drive containing details of passports and identity cards, 32 credit cards, and a spreadsheet containing names, addresses, e-mail addresses and phone numbers pertaining to a private members’ club in central London.

Whilst searching the property officers also discovered the voice-changing apparatus, wired up to a Barclays 2FA unit, which was used to defraud customer accounts.

Muldowney-Colston has previous form, having being convicted in 2014 of stealing £1.3 million from Barclays Bank.

Detective Inspector Philip McInerney, from the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit (MPCCU), said: “The scam carried out by Muldowney-Colston affected hundreds of people across the UK, and had the potential to affect many more. He is an audacious criminal who only recently was released from prison for carrying out very similar offences.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 December, 2018, 15:391 like 1 like

20 month conviction for repeated fraud? 

Who say's crime doesn't pay? 

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 17 December, 2018, 18:49Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

"Not only does crime pay but it's just the cost of doing business". This was the line with which FORTUNE magazine ended an article about Archer Daniels Midland some 15-20 years ago. The food processing giant was fined - memory serves - $200 mn for rifampicin price fixing. Although I read this nearly two decades ago, this is one of my most memorable lines in business journalism. And, what's more, it's equally valid today. Like I pointed out in Why Nobody Went To Jail For The Great Financial Crisis, "the six largest US banks have paid at least $110 billion in penalties related to the (Great Financial) Crisis." Despite paying so many billions in fines, banking remains the most profitable sector in FORTUNE 500.