Teens and their bedrooms are like porridge and prison. They’re inseparable. If you’ve got teens do you have any idea what they’re up to in their shady spaces? Are they kicking back and watching Netflix, chatting with friends or doing something that might well nearly end up with them in prison?
One British teen did just that. During lockdown, and clearly with time on his hands, he masterminded a sophisticated fraud on top of what appears to be money laundering on a significant scale.
In April last year he created a fake website which imitated Love2Shop, a genuine website which sells digital gift vouchers. To get his bogus website up the search rankings he bought a Google ad to promote it. People were duped into clicking on his website thinking they were accessing the official site. They unwittingly entered their email addresses and Love2Shop account passwords before being redirected to the genuine site.
12,000 credit card numbers
The bogus site was only up for a week but in this time the teen used the stolen credentials to transfer £6,500 worth of vouchers into his own Love2Shop account. But that’s not all. As the police dug deeper into his computer over 12,000 credit card numbers and details of 197 PayPal accounts, were discovered.
Ahead of the Love2Shop scam, in January and March of 2020, the boy had received a total of £323,000 through his PayPal accounts, which was then converted into cryptocurrency. 48 Bitcoins and a smaller number of other cryptocurrency coins were discovered. At the time they were worth £200,000, today they are worth a little over £2 million.
A close escape
Admitting to charges of money laundering and fraud by false representation, the now 17-year-old A-Level student was given a 12 month youth rehabilitation order, including 150 hours of unpaid work. He couldn’t be jailed because of his age at the time of offences. If he was an adult he would certainly have been banged up.
So what are your teenagers up to in their bedrooms?