Kiwis jail first internet fraudster

A New Zealand man has been jailed for nearly three years after he was found guilty of hacking the accounts of internet bank and auction site users.

Mark Hayes, 19, was sentenced to two years and 11 months at Auckland District Court on fraud charges. The court heard how the defendant used keylogging software to record the keystrokes typed by users of New Zealand auction site Trade Me and also those using internet bank accounts. He then used those details to hack into accounts and buy goods.

New Zealand's national police e-crime manager, Maarten Kleintjes, said that this was the country's first jail sentence for internet fraud.

Kleintjes said Hayes used compromised Trade Me accounts to bid on auction items using hacked bank account details from another victim. He then had goods delivered to a vacant address where he picked them up. Bank account users would then report losses, which would reverse the transaction, leaving auction sellers without their sale items or the money from the transaction.

Hayes was finally arrested after police got a tip off that he would be travelling to Auckland to see a show. He had bought the ticket fraudulently, creating the vital piece of evidence that linked him with the crimes.

"From then it was easy. We found a lot of the stuff in his house,” Kleintjes told news website

Hayes initially indicated he would fight charges but later pleaded guilty a day before his trial was due to start earlier this month.

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