A 20-year-old from Enfield has been jailed after trying to swindle the public out of more than £185k through scam text messages. 

Abdisalaam Dahir, a computer science student, was sentenced to 22 months’ prison for his large scale “smishing” campaign which involved posing as Royal Mail, HMRC, banks and mobile phone providers.

The fraudster’s messages, sent between December 2019 and May 20 this year, included links to a fake webpage imitating official company websites.

The aim was to trick customers into giving away their personal and account details that he could later use to commit fraud.

Dahir was busted thanks to intelligence work from the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) and a mobile phone provider.

Officers seized and examined his digital devices and found details for hundreds of victims as well as a large quantity of cash at his home.

Detective constable Stephen Reilly said: “Dahir tried to scam the public by sending out fake texts claiming to be from genuine organisations for his own personal gain.

“Through close collaboration with the mobile phone company and the banking industry, we were able to identify Dahir and bring him to justice.” 

His arrest was part of a week of action in May led by officers against people suspected of smishing scams.

Dahir pleaded guilty to committing fraud by false representation, for being in possession of articles for use in fraud, and money laundering offences.

He was sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on Friday, August 20.

The public is being urged to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign and remember that criminals are experts at impersonating trusted organisations.

Customers can report suspected scam texts to their mobile network provider by forwarding them to 7726. This will help mobile providers to take action if needed, including blocking malicious numbers.

Additionally, any suspicious emails should be forwarded to report@phishing.gov.uk, the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) suspicious email reporting service. 

If you’ve provided your personal details, or lost money to a fraud, please report to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040