Man behind multi-million pound fraud site iSpoof jailed for 13 years

Undated handout photo issued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of Tejay Fletcher, 35, who founded the iSpoof website which was brought down in the UK's biggest fraud sting, has been jailed for 13 years and four months at Southwark Crown Court. Issue date: Friday May 19, 2023.
Tejay Fletcher, 35, bought a £230,000 Lamborghini, two Range Rovers worth £110,000 and an £11,000 Rolex after making around £2 million from iSpoof. Credit: PA

The mastermind behind a fraud subscription site used by criminals to con victims out of more than £100 million has been jailed for more than 13 years. Tejay Fletcher, 35, was the founder and leading administrator of the website, which allowed scammers to disguise their phone numbers.

For as little as £50 criminals could use the site to clone phone numbers of bank - prompting unsuspecting victims into handing over their security information.

He bought a £230,000 Lamborghini, two Range Rovers worth £110,000 and an £11,000 Rolex after making around £2 million from the service.

It was brought down last year in what could be the UK’s biggest fraud sting, after some 200,000 victims in the UK, and more across the world, were targeted.

'We've just got to be faster, keep up with them, and get ahead of them', ITV News' Kaf Okpattah learns how the Met's cyber crime unit are tackling a constantly evolving threat

Southwark Crown Court heard how victims lost at least £100 million globally, with a minimum of £43 million coming from people in the UK.

The website earned around £3.2 million in cryptocurrency Bitcoin, with the “lion’s share” of around £2 million ending up with Fletcher, said prosecutor John Ojakovoh.

For 18 months the Metropolitan Police's cyber crime unit worked with international law enforcement to bring down iSpoof.

While it was operational users of the service placed a total of 10 million fraudulent phone calls.

Fletcher, from Western Gateway, London, last month pleaded guilty to four charges, including making or supplying an article for use in fraud, encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence, possession of criminal property and transferring criminal property, between November 30 2020 and November 8 2022. Judge Sally Cahill KC jailed him for a total of 13 years and four months on Friday, telling Fletcher: “For all the victims it was a harrowing experience.”

While authorities did eventually shut iSpoof down, ITV News has found others like them which are still in business - SMS Spoofer to name a few.

The Met Police shares three top tips on how we can stay safe from cyber criminals, ITV News' Kaf Okpattah reports

If you are worried about fraud, the Metropolitan Police has provided helpful information with ten golden rules to help prevent fraud and beat scammers.

They include:  insisting on time to get independent or legal advice before making a decision, never sending money or signing anything until you’ve checked someone’s credentials, and always being suspicious ‘too good to be true’ offers and deals.

If you think you have been scammed, there are organisations you should report the scam to.

Citizens Advice and Action Fraud both have online tools you can use to report a cyber-crime to at any time during the day or night.

Reporting a scam helps track down and stop scammers, which can protect you from further risks, and prevent other people from being scammed.

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