23 Aug Enfield student behind scam texts jailed for 22 months
A London student was sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on 20 August 2021 to 22 months in prison for sending out scam text messages purporting to be from a range of organisations, including Royal Mail, HMRC, banks and mobile phone providers.
Abdisalaam Dahir, 20, a computer science student from Enfield, North London, pleaded guilty to committing fraud by false representation, for being in possession of articles for use in fraud, and money laundering offences, following a successful investigation by the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), a specialist City of London and Metropolitan police unit funded by the banking and cards industry.
Intelligence work by the DCPCU and a mobile phone provider identified that Dahir was involved in sending large-scale ‘smishing’ text message campaigns to defraud the public out of over £185,000 of fraud. His arrest formed part of a week of action in May 2021 led by officers against individuals suspected of committing smishing scams.
Between 1 December 2019 and 20 May 2021, Dahir sent fraudulent text messages claiming to be from a wide range of trusted organisations, including Royal Mail, HMRC, banks and mobile phone providers. The messages included a link to a fake webpage imitating official company websites, with the aim of tricking customers into giving away their personal and account details that he could later use to commit fraud.
Officers seized and examined Dahir’s digital devices and found that they contained personal details from hundreds of victims while a large quantity of cash was found at his home address.
Detective Constable Stephen Reilly at the DCPCU, said:
“Dahir tried to scam the public by sending out fake texts claiming to be from genuine organisations for his own personal gain.
“Through close collaboration with the mobile phone company and the banking industry, we were able to identify Dahir and bring him to justice.”
The public is being urged to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign and remember that criminals are experts at impersonating trusted organisations. Customers can report suspected scam texts to their mobile network provider by forwarding them to 7726. This will help mobile providers to take action if needed, including blocking malicious numbers.
Additionally, any suspicious emails should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org, the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) suspicious email reporting service. If you’ve provided your personal details, or lost money to a fraud, please report to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.