Mohammed Khan gets just 30 weeks jail for Covid Scam

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A Queen Mary University student who coordinated a coronavirus scam taregeting the most vulnerable members of the public has been jailed for 30 weeks.

Mohammed Khan sent thousands of fraudulent texts and emails asking victims to fill in their bank details in exchange for 'a Covid-19 tax break'.

The messages were replicas of official UK government communications, making them look genuine to Khan's unsuspecting victims.

The 20 year old scammer stole victim's personal information 'with a view to committing fraud against their bank accounts'.

Khan also passed the information along with templates for fraudulent websites to other scammers via WhatsApp, Inner London Crown Court heard.

Mohammed Khan had been masterminding a number of sophisticated scams since 2017.

Khan saw a new window of opportunity to fleece unsuspecting Britons and began to exploit the crisis the day before lockdown came into effect on March 22.

Khan, who lives with his parents and two siblings, was arrested at his home in Camden, northwest London, on 13th May.

Malachy Pakenham, prosecuting, said: 'The dedicated card payment unit of London police commenced an investigation into fraudulent texts received by victims purporting to be from government sites promising tax refunds due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

'It's a phishing campaign to dupe customers to enter their personal details and passwords by sending a fraudulent website link. It gets them to enter their bank details on a fake website set up by the defendant.

Kevin Molloy, defending Khan, praise his client: 'He got AAB at A level. He's at Queen Mary University reading Politics and International Relations.'

'He has incredible GCSE and A Level results, he's heading for a first'

Queen Mary is one of the UK's top ranked Universities and was recently ranked among the top 100 universities in the world in the latest survey of the QS World University Rankings.

When Khan admitted two fraud charges at Westminster Magistrates' Court in May, District Judge Alexander Jacobs said:

'What you did was to prey on the vulnerability of the majority of people in society who at this present moment are worried, petrified, fearful about their future, about their jobs, about their homes, making ends meet, getting back to work or whether they still have a job.

'Sometimes this is coupled with having to deal with serious illnesses of themselves or of their family and very many having to deal with bereavement.

'Along you come, preying on those people, on anyone who might be gullible enough, and there are people sadly who would click on these scams including the elderly and others who are vulnerable because of the circumstances we find ourselves in right now.'

Khan, of St Marys Flats, Camden, admitted one count of fraud by false representation and one count of possessing an article for use in fraud.

He was jailed for just 30 weeks concurrent for each offence.

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