Criminal sentenced after using stolen post to commit over £32,000 of fraud

Adrian Browne, 28, from South London, has been sentenced at Inner London Crown Court to 18 months for stealing at least £32,000. He stole post from letterboxes which enabled him to commit fraud through gaining access to banking customer information.

Sentencing follows an investigation and arrest by specialist banking industry sponsored police unit, the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU).

Between May and March 2022, Browne would steal post from letterboxes, targeting roads and in communal flats, to obtain the personal information of bank customers and use this to fraudulently open bank account and obtain credit cards. 

Through the investigative efforts of the DCPCU, they were able to uncover over 94 items in Browne’s residency linking him to his crimes, including credit cards, debit cards, and banking documents. In the seized banking documents, police found over 81 different names and addresses.

Many of Browne’s victims were unaware of these accounts and therefore unaware of the impact Browne’s crimes were having on their credit score.

The victims were reimbursed by the banks.

Detective Constable T Dunn said:

Mr Browne callously stole personal and private information and used this to steal from customers across the UK and fraudulently obtain bank accounts and credit, with no concern for the damage this would cause.

Fortunately, his activities were identified and stopped, preventing any further losses. This is another case where the DCPCU has brought a criminal to justice after working closely with the banking and finance industry.

Our research into fraud has shown that criminals target getting personal information and stolen card details to either take over existing accounts or apply for new credit cards

In the first half of 2023, Card ID theft losses were up 57 per cent compared to the previous year to £33.1 million. 

For more information on how to protect yourself from potential ID theft and from criminals using your personal information to commit fraud, follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Campaign. 

Area of expertise:

Notes to editor

  • The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) was established in 2002 as a unique, proactive and fully operational police unit with a national remit, formed as a collaboration between UK Finance, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service.      It is funded by and provides services to the members of UK Finance’s Economic Crime Fraud stream. 
  • UK Finance 2023 Half Year Fraud Report