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Derry man Corry jailed over £1m Next account hack scam

By Cate McCurry

A Co Londonderry man has been jailed for his part in a £1m Next directory scam.

Matthew Corry, from Drumahoe, was part of a criminal gang that used and sold on details of hacked accounts belonging to hundreds of the retail giant's customers.

The 28-year-old was jailed for 15 months at Leicester Crown Court.

Customer details were accessed by Edward Mullen, an internet hacker from Glasgow.

The gang obtained thousands of pounds of goods before they were caught.

A prosecutor told the court that the scam involved the sourcing of login details for legitimate mail order accounts from websites on the 'dark web'.

Details belonging to 280 accounts were sold on to other fraudsters, via closed Facebook groups, for between £25 and £80.

They were accompanied by instructions on how to commit the fraud to obtain goods and avoid detection by concealing their internet IP address.

The amount of available credit on those accounts was almost £1m, although the value of the transactions attempted was £239,681, and the actual amount of goods fraudulently obtained was £64,000.

The fraudsters would collect the items rather than having them delivered, often using bogus proof of identity documents, such as forged utility bills.

The court was told the details were not leaked or stolen from the Next organisation.

The comapny's security system was not infiltrated, the details were obtained by internet banking fraud and other internet fraud.

Two women and one other man were among the gang members who pleaded guilty to conspiring together to defraud Next between October 2015 and April 2016.

Corry set up a Facebook group called Super Fun Happy Land, which the defendants used.

The prosecutor told the court: "Those who successfully used the hijacked accounts were encouraged to post photographs of their spoils on the Facebook group to advertise and promote the fraud.

"In November last year Next became aware of the Facebook group and carried out their own investigation, before handing details to the police."

The court heard that some became involved to get Christmas presents as they struggled financially.

Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Dean QC said: "What lies behind this crime is extremely simple to state; it's greed.

"All of you saw an opportunity to make easy and, you thought, risk-free money - at the expense of Next Plc."

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