Nigerian gets three years in Dutch bank phishing scam

A 38 year old Nigerian man has been sentenced to 3 years in prison by the court in The Hague for phishing - sending emails purporting to be from banks or companies in order to get individuals' personal information, such as login information.

According to the Fraud Help Desk, the man managed to get hold of his victims' bank details and login codes through phishing emails and fake websites. Among others, he posed as the Tax Administration, DigiD, Rabobank and SNS Bank. He then stole large amounts of money using his victims' details.

The perpetrator, a undocumented refugee from Nigeria, asked to be acquitted during his trial. His lawyer argued that his client is facing very difficult personal circumstances due to his situation as an undocumented refugee.

The court dismissed this argument and found the man guilty, giving him a severe sentence because citizens rely heavily on the DigiD system and by posing as the system, the Nigerian man has compromised the citizens' trust in online government services. "This interaction should be completely safe and secure", according to the judge. "People must be able to trust the system at all time. By stealing confidential information, the suspect has seriously undermined the trust i online government services among broad sections of society."