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Fraudster who tried to access hundreds of Camelot accounts jailed

|News, Cyber / online crime

A man has been jailed for two years after trying to access hundreds of accounts for the online National Lottery operator, Camelot.

Attempts were made to access 684 Camelot accounts in total, of which 160 were accessed. Emmanuel Akala (29) used the information to phone the company’s customer services and attempt to obtain account holders’ bank details.

Akala’s cyber-attacks were discovered when the Watford-based company noticed the unusual login attempts and traced the IP address details back to him, and later the number that he used to call the customer services line but tried to withhold. When the initial IP address that Akala used was blocked, he attempted to use another address based in Croydon, which led police to where they found and arrested him.

Though Akala initially denied any wrongdoing, he later pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and two counts of securing unauthorised access to computer material with intent.

Akala managed to obtain two Camelot users’ bank details and phoned NatWest bank in an attempt to transfer money from their accounts, but this was unsuccessful. Camelot stated that the incident cost the company itself around £10,000 in total.

Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, Robbie Weber, said: “In prosecuting Emmanuel Akala, we used evidence from CCTV showing him purchasing equipment from Argos, Camelot’s own logs, recordings of fraudulent telephone calls to NatWest bank and victim impact statements to build a case against the defendant that he simply could not deny.

“Fraud is never a victimless crime, even when cash is not directly stolen. It leaves those who have had their details used feeling violated and distressed and, in this case, it has had a significant financial impact on the company targeted.

“I hope that today’s sentence reflects the severity of these crimes and restores a sense of security and confidence to all those who were affected.”

Notes to editors

  • Emmanuel Akala (DOB 13.08.1992) was sentenced to two years imprisonment at St Albans Crown Court on 26 August.
  • He pleaded guilty at St Albans Crown Court on 30 July to two counts of fraud and two counts of securing unauthorised access to computer material with intent.
  • Robbie Weber is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service.

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