A crook behind a phishing scam targeting students that raked in more than £1.5m has been sentenced to two years and three months in prison.
Tunji Isiaka Lawal was arrested in December 2013 as part of an ongoing exercise to capture all those involved in the scam. The scheme involved tricking students into providing their bank account information on a bogus website and then using this to extract money from their bank accounts.
Lawal was said to have controlled the botnet that sent out the scam emails. On Wednesday he pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
Investigating officer DI Sanjiv Gohil, of the MPS Cyber Crime Unit, said the conviction underlined the hardline stance the force was taking with cyber scams, and warned web users to be vigilant against the threats phishing emails pose.
"Lawal and this group ruthlessly and systematically targeted students and financial institutions. Lawal's part in the scheme was key – he enabled thousands of phoney emails to be sent out, snaring innocent victims en masse,” he said.
"Anyone who banks online should take utmost care to ensure that they are absolutely secure in doing so. Be absolutely sure that an email purporting from your bank genuinely is before clicking on any links. If in doubt, don't click on links in emails but visit your bank's website by typing its address into a new internet window."
Last month nine cyber criminals responsible for attacks on UK banks were handed prison sentences totaling 24 years, having been convicted of scams that raked in more than £1m from Barclays and Santander branches.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago