Criminals are running ‘scam schools’ on the internet, teaching budding swindlers how to steal bank details and use them to splurge on major retailers’ goods

Criminals are running ‘scam schools’ on the internet, teaching budding swindlers how to steal bank details and use them to splurge on major retailers’ goods.

Conmen sell detailed step-by-step guides — one named the ‘Fraud Bible’ — and individual online tutorials to help new scammers cash in on the multimillion-pound black market trade, fiancne trap an undercover Mail investigation has found.

Students learn how to send spam text messages, purporting to be from companies such as the Royal Mail and PayPal, which link to fake bank websites. 

The aim is to trick targets into handing over their account and card information and other personal details.

Swag brag: Swindlers use images of wads of cash like these to advertise their lessons

Swag brag: Swindlers use images of wads of cash like these to advertise their lessons

They are taught to use the plundered financial details to buy goods online from retailers including John Lewis, Harvey Nichols, PrettyLittleThing and Selfridges.

These goods are usually then sold on via eBay or other internet marketplaces — meaning many consumers buying from these sites will unwittingly be purchasing goods bought with stolen funds.

Our investigation also revealed:

  • Scam schools sell ‘how to’ guides for Universal Credit fraud, fuelling a benefits fraud epidemic costing taxpayers billions of pounds a year.
  • The fraudsters openly boast about their crimes on social media, showing off about making £5,000 a day and posting videos of themselves with luxury goods bought using the stolen money.
  • They also teach customers how to use stolen bank details to take out £5,000 loans charged to the victim, and how to move money from victims’ accounts to cryptocurrency accounts, which the crook can then make off with.

Online credit card fraud, which is worth almost half a billion pounds a year, is fuelled by a commodity that scammers call ‘fullz’, which includes a victim’s credit card number, full name, address, phone number, date of birth, bank account number and sort code.

Fullz and other details such as national insurance and driving licence numbers are openly traded on messaging service Telegram, in groups with names including Legal Fraudsters, Fraud Boys, Frauding UK and GB Only Fraudsters, which have thousands of members.

These criminal marketplaces are also used by scammers who make additional profit by teaching others to learn the tricks of their illicit trade — for a price.

For £205, paid via Bitcoin, one fraudster who advertised lessons in these groups provided us with the software to create real-looking spam phishing text messages. 

These linked to fake web pages for banks and payment companies, and are used to trick victims into passing over their personal and banking details.

He said he would teach us to use these texts in a three-day crash course.In a call he explained: ‘If I should send you a text when I’m spamming, it’s going to feel legitimate. It will show you HSBC or Barclays, for example.’ 

He said this was the technique used in the fake PayPal and Royal Mail scam text messages which exploded during lockdown.

‘Have you received a spam message recently?[The software] will make it look real.’

He sent a list of more than 50 mobile phone numbers he planned to target as a demonstration during the tutorials, explaining: ‘We are going to spam as much as we can bro. Don’t worry bro.’ The reporter ended the communication before a full lesson began.

Other scammers-turned-teachers explain how to use these stolen bank details to buy from major retailers without getting caught by fraud checks, in a technique known as ‘clicking’.

Designer goods: Fraudsters post videos of luxury goods bought using the stolen money

Designer goods: Fraudsters post videos of luxury goods bought using the stolen money

One fraudster, who calls himself tee.clickz and rocket20, has a video on TikTok advertising: ‘lessons, fullz, bins and methods’.His TikTok biography says: ‘Never work a 9-5 again.’

For £200 he offers a dossier which he called the ‘Fraud Bible’, with techniques to defraud 20 brands, detailing tried and tested tips such as which type of card and delivery option to use, and the maximum cost of purchase that can be made with each retailer without raising the alarm.

It claims to have methods to be used on a range of major stores including Givenchy, John Lewis, End, Louis Vuitton and Farfetch.

The advice includes: ‘Once shipped, repeat on the same card to rinse or use a different card. 

From here just sell the items on eBay or any designer-based market app.’ It warns that retailers often text or call buyers as part of fraud checks, ‘so be sure the phone number you enter during checkout is one you control’.

The Fraud Bible also features ‘refund’ scams with methods of claiming cashback from major retailers.These include standard email formats expressing faux outrage that an ordered item did not arrive and demanding that ‘something is done immediately in order to rectify this situation’.

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox money" data-version="2" id="mol-09c7d460-6db2-11ec-a53b-4d66a88e256e" website online schools for scammers: How YOU can avoid becoming a victim