Digital shopping fraud was a fluke, claims crook

He didn't nick a credit card, honest

A man who made fraudulent purchases in the online "walled garden" of Open, Sky Digital's television shopping channel, is claiming that he was able to do so by randomly pressing buttons on his remote control.

A Magistrates Court near his Nottinghamshire home heard yesterday how the 20 year old used someone else's credit card to buy £160 worth of pizza's, a case of wine and a ride in a stretch limo, as well as sound systems, mobile phones and computers before he was rumbled.

But a spokesman for Sky Digital said that it all sounded a bit suspicious to him. "There has been some suggestion that he actually stole the card, and is using the online shopping things as an excuse. Open doesn't offer services like limousine rides," he said.

The odds against the man randomly finding a valid card number and its corresponding expiry date must be astronomical, and he would have needed both to make purchases on Open. This combined with the limousine ride into Leicester certainly raises the possibility of capitalising on all the recent scandal surrounding online security.

Dean Cobb admitted to the Magistrates Court two offenses of obtaining goods worth at least £1,500 by deception. One offence referred to a telephone order.

His lawyer stressed that he had stumbled upon the right number purely by chance. She said: "The ease with which this was carried out by my client was worrying."

Any reader who:
(a) Can calculate the odds of entering both numbers correctly at random and/or
(b)Has any more information about the crime
should email me at the usual address. ®

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