Feeds

Gervais pic used in amusingly rubbish failed bank fraud

Berks borrowed Brent's boatrace but blew it

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Crooks tried to impersonate Ricky Gervais by using a picture of The Office character David Brent mounted in a counterfeit passport as part of a comically inept attempt to withdraw a large sum from the comedian's bank account.

The ingenious retro-fraudsters tried to extract £200,000 from the comic actor's bank account in order to buy gold bullion. Instead of using phishing or cyber-crime to obtain login credentials and cash-out the account or obtaining fraudulent lines of credit after impersonating Gervais, the crooks kept it old school.

Their cunning plan revolved around impersonating Brent by turning up at a bank vault with a amateurishly faked passport featuring a 'David Brent' picture cut from the packaging of a DVD of The Office instead of a proper passport photo. It's unclear whether the crooks were impersonating Gervais himself or simply posing as couriers acting on his behalf and using the counterfeit passport to back up their story.

In any case, bank officials quickly became suspicious and called Gervais, 48, who authorised them to bring in the police and arrest the criminal masterminds, the Daily Telegraph reports.

After making an arrest, police told Gervais that the passport was either stolen or obtained from a dead man before it was amateurishly altered. It's unclear how the fraudsters figured out where Gervais banked. The comic himself suggested the attempted fraud turned out to be an inside job, hatched by corrupt insiders at the unnamed bank.

The scam took place several years ago but Gervais only spoke about if for the first time this weekend. The comic was not left out of pocket by the attempted scam and not required to testify in subsequent court proceedings.

The Sun, which carries an entertaining mock-up of what the fake passport might have looked like, reports that more details of the scam will be discussed during the Ricky Gervais Guide to Law & Order podcast. A quick perusal of iTunes, however, suggests that this is actually the latest in the comic's Guide To audiobooks.

An audio trailer for the upcoming audio book, where the Invention of Lying star talks about the scam, can be found on the comic's Ricky Gervais... Obviously website here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.