Tag: vishing

UK Biggest Cyber Criminals Caught

The UK’s biggest ever cyber scammers stole £113m by calling victims pretending to be from their bank. Fraudsters used bin bags full of cash for shopping sprees, bought supercars and a Lahore mansion. The Glasgow-based gang targeted small businesses in telephone fraud scam and they cleared out millions of pounds from their victims’ bank accounts

The ring leader Choudhary has been jailed for 11 years and 14 others also face prison terms.

The Burnley-born fraudster had fleeced over 750 British firms to fund his millionaire playboy lifestyle. Raking in £3million a month by cold-calling bank customers, he ruined hundreds of lives and put small businesses on the brink of bankruptcy – leaving one victim so distraught that she committed suicide.

The Method

Choudhary phoned businesses claiming to be from their bank, saying security on the accounts had been compromised. He got internet bank security details and passwords from employees and emptied their accounts in minutes, blocking phone lines with software to stop contact with the real bank

Unwitting customers were told their accounts had been hacked and were duped into giving their internet banking passwords over the phone.

The cash was withdrawn by ‘money mules’ and moved through transfer exchanges from London to Pakistan and elsewhere. The biggest raid saw £2.2million taken from a solicitor’s firm in minutes

Choudhary used the details to convince businesses he was a genuine bank employee, telling them they had been hacked by ‘someone in Aberdeen’ called ‘King’

Scotland Yard believes at least 750 businesses were affected between January 2013 and October 2015, but there could be countless others. Choudhary targeted customers from Lloyds, Santander, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Choudhary grew so rich that he flew his personal valets 8,000 miles across the world to polish his Porsches.

He posed as a music producer and property developer and owned a fleet of expensive cars including a Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and two Porsches.

Choudhary spent millions on a property portfolio in Pakistan, Dubai and Scotland, treated himself to £100,000 shopping trips at Harrods, bought £45,000 Rolex watches and enjoyed luxury holidays in the Middle East.


Choudhary was jailed for 11 years. Corrupt Lloyds business adviser, Jones Opare-Addo, was jailed for five years for leaking account details to the gang and setting up accounts to launder cash.

Emma Daramola, 23, was given a two-year suspended sentence for conspiracy to commit fraud by abuse of position for her role as an insider at Lloyds

A long list of accomplices were also jailed.

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What is Vishing?


One scam on the rise is ‘vishing‘, or voice phishing. Con artists phone people and pretend to be bank staff or the Police or some other authority figure and have a story that lets them try to get the subject’s personal details, credit card details, bank account password etc. depending on the specific scam.

For the bank account scam, they typically warn of fraudulent activity on your account. They then persuade you to move your account to a safe place (which happens to be an account owned by the scammer) and they convince you to give them the details necessary for the transfer or convince you to move the money yourself.

Then you finds out the account belongs to someone else and the money is gone.

One trick commonly used is to tell you to call their bank and confirm what’s happened but the scammer stays on the line and you thinks you are talking with bank staff but in fact it’s another member of the scammer’s team.

Some scammers are sophisticated enough to use Voice Over IP lines and display a number of their choice on your phone display.

Voice phishing is very difficult for the authorities to monitor or trace and the best answer is to protect yourself.

Do not be pushed into precipitate action where money is concerned. If in doubt – use someone else’s phone to contact your bank or go in and talk with them.

The fraudsters have also started using the bank’s own technique of making recorded message calls to their customers but in this case to warn the customer of a problem and giving a number to call which is the scammer. This adds an air of authenticity to the scam.  Alternatively when called it may be a computer responder that asks for the subjects bank details etc.

There are lots of variants on this illegal activity but be careful and verify who is calling you and always take the time to think – don’t be pushed into doing something that could turn out badly.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.