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Member of bank’s anti-fraud team jailed for stealing customer data in fraud scheme

A member of a high street bank’s anti-fraud team has been jailed for two years after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Stealing more than £90,000 total, Bilal Abbas used his position of trust within the organisation to obtain customer card information whilst verifying their account details. This customer information was then sold onto an accomplice – Umair Memon – who would use them to purchase luxury goods and holidays under a fake identity. A third accomplice – Jordan Hamilton-Thomas – collected goods in in person at stores, posing as the son of Umair Memon’s assumed identity. The transactions would be identified as fraudulent shortly after the transactions by the bank and cancelled, costing the targeted businesses.

The details of 21 customers were used to target 13 separate businesses across England in the scam which operated between October 2017 and December 2018.

Police were alerted to the fraud when a jeweller reported their suspicions when Rolex watches totalling £14,000 were collected by Jordan Hamilton-Thomas from the store on three consecutive days. Though Jordan Hamilton-Thomas was able to flee the scene following the attendance of police officers, Umair Memon was also present and detained after being identified through CCTV as an associate of Jordan Hamilton-Thomas.

Following an investigation which included full cooperation from the bank Bilal Abbas was identified as being the only employee who had access to the details of each of the 21 customers. Jordan Hamilton-Thomas was also later identified and arrested.

“This was a large-scale scam that has left businesses in our region, and across the country, thousands of pounds out of pocket. Bilal Abbas in particular has been in a position of trust and he has abused that position to target those customers whose details he was employed to protect. There is a degree of sophistication to the scam but once we began to uncover the frauds it was clear that Abbas was leaking confidential information. From there we followed the trail of breadcrumbs and found a haul of incriminating evidence in the homes of the offenders. It became clear they had been living the high life at the expense of their victims and showed no remorse for those businesses they had left out of pocket. I am delighted that they are now behind bars and will face the consequences of their actions. The only thing waiting for fraudsters at the end of a scam will be a police cell.”

DC Naughten, Northumbria Police

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