No one is exempt from identity theft; not even Des O'Connor
Recently retired TV presenter Des O'Connor of Channel 4’s Countdown was the victim of credit card fraud resulting in £1,000 worth of unapproved charges.
O’Connor was one of many victims of Olanrewaju Apalara, a former John Lewis sales associate perpetrating a huge credit card scam.
Apalara, 26, stole dozens of customers’ credit card information by recording it in his cell phone while working at the company's Oxford Street store in London in 2005. He later used the stolen information to order electronics and other merchandise online and then resold them. According to Prosecutor Ben Douglas-Jones:
"He used his position of trust to obtain the details of bankcards and pin numbers from customers who he served cards obtained from other sources were also used. Apalara used two internet shopping sites where he knew the 'integrity of the card verification system was flawed."
Apalara was able to run his scam for nine months, but his operation came crashing to a halt when John Lewis brought in police. He was sentenced over the weekend to 18 months in jail after admitting to obtaining property by deception as well as converting the proceeds of criminal property.