A serial fraudster is having a “perverse pleasure” in applying for credit cards and bank accounts using the contact details of innocent people.
The first time victims knew their personal information had been used was when letters from institutions such as Halifax, Lloyds, Santander and First Direct landed on their doormats about their job applications. The total potential amount of credit Carl Jones had applied for was around £100,000.
The scammer began applying for the credit online almost immediately after being released from prison on license following a previous conviction for doing the exact same thing. The defendant’s solicitor told Swansea Crown Court that his client, 35, had a “buzz” about making demands and derived “perverse pleasure” from his online activities.
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The court heard that in March this year police received reports suggesting Jones was using third party contact details to apply for credit. Megan Jones, prosecuting, said police discovered Jones had made more than 20 inquiries with financial institutions including Halifax, Lloyds, Nationwide, Virgin Money, Santander, TSB and First Direct on behalf of three people. She said that in total the defendant had applied for a total credit of £100,000 from the various banks.
In October 2018, Jones was sentenced to 28 months in prison after using people’s personal data to attempt to open more than 60 bank accounts, an offense that began just two days after he was released from prison following his release from a penalty for doing the exact same thing. The court heard his latest wave of online offenses began in March 2020, shortly after he was believed to have been released halfway through his 28-month sentence.
The court heard an impact statement from one of his new victims in which he said Jones’ activities affected his credit rating and forced him to postpone his plan to move. He said he was worried someone got his personal details and he had to check his bank account daily.
Carl Winston Jones – also known as Carl Daniels – formerly of March Hywel in Cilfrew but now of Windsor Road in Neath town center had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by misrepresentation when he s is presented in the dock for sentencing. He has three prior convictions for seven offences, two of which were for identical offences.
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Andrew Evans, for Jones, said there was no financial motivation behind the defendant’s actions, but instead “felt compelled” to make credit applications and got a “buzz” and a ” perverse pleasure”. He said his client grew up in the care system and went through “a number of negative childhood experiences that he feels he never came to terms with”, and that he began to self-medicating with cocaine and amphetamines, which sometimes meant he had no sleep for days. The lawyer said Jones hoped to get help while serving the inevitable custodial sentence he faced.
Judge Geraint Walters said that while the facts of what Jones had done were simple, the motivation behind it was “less easily understood”. He said the defendant seemed obsessed with applying for credit facilities on behalf of others online, and said this cybercrime had a big impact on people who were worried about the security of their financial and personal data. .
With a one-third reduction for his guilty pleas, Jones was sentenced to 32 months in prison. He will serve up to half of that time in custody before being released on license to serve the rest in the community.
Upon dismissal, the judge told Jones he had to decide if she wanted to continue offending and spend the rest of her life in prison.
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