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Midshires services agent faces jail for £100k password scam

An employee at Birmingham Midshires has been found guilty of unauthorised activity resulting in the theft of £100,000 from customer accounts.

Ivan Obita, a customer services agent at a Birmingham Midshires call centre, was found guilty in Wolverhampton Crown Court last week of dishonestly accessing a computer system and obtaining information.

In 2007, Obita asked at least five customers contacting the call centre for the seventh letter of their six-letter password. When they were unable to provide the seventh letter Obita told them they needed to select a new password, which he recorded. He related passwords and customer details such as dates of birth to unknown accomplices outside the bank, who rang the call centre and fraudulently withdrew customers’ money.

The bank launched an investigation when a customer complained of unauthorised withdrawals after his password had been reset. The bank found a similar pattern of activity in four other accounts.

Obita denied the charges and said he left his own password on his desk and someone must have used it to log into customer accounts. He told the court: “I have got no idea how any of this happened.”

Obita is due to be sentenced at the end of September and was warned that a prison sentence is “inevitable”.

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