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Teenage phone hacker who stole thousands of pounds is sentenced

|News, Cyber / online crime , Fraud and economic crime

A teenage phone hacker who stole more than £66,000 from both individuals and companies has been sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, suspended for a year. 

Over a two-year period, Connor Turner, 18, of Finborough Road in Walton, stole £66,551 by fraudulently gaining access to the phones and accounts of a woman and five companies.

After pretending he was the account holder of a phone that belonged to someone else, he was able to fraudulently obtain the code given to customers when they want to change their service provider but keep their telephone number and used this to transfer the victim’s mobile number to a phone he owned.

He was then able to bypass the two-factor authorisation system which has become industry standard when changing passwords on banking or other computer systems and access the victim’s bank accounts.

He transferred around £4,500 to an account held by a relative and tried to transfer this money to his own account but was stopped by staff at Santander bank who became suspicious. Undeterred, he then accessed his victim’s PayPal account and obtained around £5,000.

He used the same process to fraudulently access the phone and PayPal account of a man who sold mobile phones via online markets such as eBay and transferred £3,800 to his own account.

He went on to fraudulently access the bank accounts of multiple companies  and transferred £10,000 from a computer game company, £12,853 from a company providing telephony services and carried out the same fraud at two other online companies.

After being traced, interviewed, and arrested at his home, Connor Turner was charged with 40 offences including fraud, theft and securing unauthorised access to computer material.

At a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court on 22 March 2023, he pleaded guilty to 30 of the offences and not guilty to ten.

Today (21 September 2023) at Liverpool Crown Court, he was given a 12-month jail term, suspended for a year. The offences to which he pleaded not guilty will be allowed to lie on file.

He has also been made the subject of an electronic curfew and he cannot leave his home between the hours of 7pm and 7am for three months.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Elizabeth Pearson, of CPS Mersey-Cheshire, said: “Connor Turner is a computer hacker proficient in what is known as "Social Engineering". He researches companies and individuals and then uses the information to impersonate them and gain access to their financial accounts.

“Once he gains access to those accounts, he steals money to which he has no right, withdrawing them down to bank accounts that only he owns and controls, for his own benefit.

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