Singapore

Man jailed for cheating via dark web

Former airline cabin crew member purchased PayPal, credit and debit card details which he used for online shopping

When Mohammad Adam Mohamed Rashid, 29, learnt how to exploit loopholes in the PayPal payment system, he taught others around the world and was paid US$100 (S$136) in bitcoin equivalent for such "tutorials".

He also went onto the dark web.

According to online sources, special software is required to access the dark web and once inside, those browsing can access "darknet markets" where they can purchase illegal products.

It was in the "darknet markets" that Adam bought credit and debit card details, as well as PayPal log-in credentials, as part of a scheme to commit cheating, using his laptop and mobile phone.

In one instance, the former airline cabin crew member paid only US$30 for a file containing information on numerous credit and debit cards.

Armed with such details, he went on an online shopping spree, generally buying mobile phones, GoPro cameras and related accessories. He would then resell them.

He also bought a software programme through the dark web, designed to wipe his laptop's memory once he turned it off.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Chew revealed this yesterday after Adam had admitted to 15 of 96 charges, including cheating and computer misuse.

He was sentenced to three years' jail.

Adam was arrested on July 11 last year and, while on court bail, he re-offended. He was arrested again on Nov 29.

DPP Chew said that the proceeded charges involved $7,754 of the total $24,560 Adam took or attempted to take through cheating.

Adam's lawyer Gino Hardial Singh said in mitigation that his client is remorseful but is unable to recall why and how he committed these offences due to "dissociative amnesia".

Adam suffered a loss of memory after he fell from a flight of stairs while in police custody last December, he said.

District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt, who said he has not come across such a case, noted that it was rather "unsettling" for most people who shop online.

"That's a factor I would consider very seriously.

"A deterrent sentence has to be imposed to deter this sort of offences."

 

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