Croydon main jailed for online fraud

3rd September 2013

A man who carried out online scams worth more than £300,000 has been jailed for two-and-a-half years. Ironically, however, he may not have made a significant sum of money for himself.

For information and advice on spotting and avoiding romance fraud, inheritance fraud and other kinds of online fraud, click here

Kayode Apata, 27, from Croydon, defrauded up to 30 victims over a two-year period until May 2012. Some were victims of romance fraud, where someone using a false identity establishes a relationship with the victim online and after gaining their trust, persuades them to send money to a bank account. Others were conned into transferring money after receiving an email that a distant relative in the UK had died and they were entitled to the proceeds of their will.

Police were alerted after £21,000 was paid into a bank account in Apata's name in May 2012 by a victim in Australia. Officers from Croydon's criminal finance team carried out further enquiries and an investigation uncovered several accounts into which payments for several thousands pounds from accounts abroad had been made.

Apata was charged with money laundering and found guilty, following a two day trial.

A spokesperson from the criminal finance team said: "Apata received over £300,000 in payments from people all over the globe and whilst we found no evidence that he took part in the frauds himself, he was undoubtedly aware that these payments were being made into his account as a result of fraudulent activity by others. "Although none of the victims in this case were from the UK, it does serve as a stark reminder to people to be extremely wary and careful when engaging with people they do not know over the internet."

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