Cyber fraudster convicted of selling stolen login details

West Midlands ROCU Cyber Crime Unit recently convicted someone for fraud after they found that he was selling stolen or compromised login details for popular subscription streaming services like BT Sports and Sky TV.

Using compromised personal details is a crime known as identity fraud, and there are lots of different variations. Most people never find out exactly how someone got hold of their details, and clearing things up afterwards can be costly and stressful.

Fraudsters use a wide variety of means to obtain personal details. Personal details can be stolen as a result of website data breaches or by tactics such as phishing emails, smishing text messages or telephone social engineering. Online identity theft is a growing issue.

Darren Walker, aged 32 from Cwmbran in Wales, sold compromised login details online and made thousands of pounds in the process. It might seem harmless, but the acquisition, trade and use of compromised online accounts is a criminal offence with wide consequences - and we will take action.

Walker was convicted at Birmingham Crown Court of fraud after our Regional Cyber Crime Unit uncovered the scale of his operation. He’s been given a 20 month sentence suspended for two years. He’ll find out exactly how much money he needs to repay at a future hearing. If people fail to pay their confiscation orders, they can be sent to prison.

As an online data breach could conceivably reveal your login credentials to fraudsters like Walker, you should always change your password after a breach. But what if you’ve used that same password on dozens of other online services?

Hackers and fraudsters know that many people use the same password to access multiple services. When they get hold of a set of login credentials for one popular site, they can quickly try them to access others.

You can minimise the collateral damage by using a different strong password for every service. Using a password manager can help you manage this.

REMEMBER - There are lots of simple steps you can take to protect yourself from online identity crime. While they won’t completely protect you, they will help shield your information from cyber criminals. You can find lots of great advice on the National Cyber Security Centre. You can also use services such as 'have i been pwned' to check if your personal details have been compromised.

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