Three men who defrauded O2 out of a total of £2.17 million by creating fake contracts and using them to call premium rate lines they had set up have been jailed for five years
Three men who defrauded O2 of £2.17 million using premium rate phone lines and stolen identities and credit cards, in what the company said was a “sophisticated and organised” operation have been sentenced to five years in jail.
Fahad Lone, 38, Mohammed Akmal, 46, and Ashok Kumar, 26 set up “hundreds” of fake contracts with the operator before using the lines to dial premium rate lines they had set up, meaning O2 had to make payments to service providers including a company – Pixonyx Ltd – which the men had set up.
They added to their heist by selling the handsets that they received with the contracts in a move worth £100,000.
O2 discovered the fraud when trying to collect payments for the contracts used and found they had been set up using fake names.
The men are estimated to have made a total of £510,000 from the scam and were only caught when calls were traced to a garage on the M25 half way between Birmingham and Hounslow and CCTV cameras picked up the number plates of the cars they were using.
Kumal who now resides in India after leaving the UK whilst on bail was sentenced by Southwark Crown Court in his absence.
An O2 spokesperson told Mobile News in a statement: “This was a sophisticated and organised attempt to defraud mobile phone operators. We are extremely pleased that our own investigation and the information we shared with the City of London Police has resulted in these convictions.”