Notorious fraudster advises NI companies

Published Friday, 13 December 2013
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One of the UK's most notorious fraudsters is giving advice to businesses across Northern Ireland on protecting their assets and customers' details from criminals, having served his time in jail and changed his ways.

With the growth of online shopping and banking, cyber crime and credit card fraud can cause concerns.

Scotsman Elliot Castro may only be 25, but he has already had law enforcement hot on his heels and served a prison sentence for major fraud.

"I just sort of became involved in taking money from people's credit card accounts and travelling around the world," he told UTV.

"I had detectives from Heathrow Airport chasing me pretty much around the world."

But after being released from jail, Elliot made the decision to turn his life around and has since been involved in giving expert advice to those looking to crack down on the very crimes he used to commit.

The thing with fraud is it's an ever-evolving crime.

Elliot Castro

Having spoken to a host of businesses at an event at Queen's University, Belfast, Elliot warns that they must stay vigilant.

"I think a lot of the time businesses aren't deliberately negligent, but what happens is that fraudsters come up with new and ingenious ways to commit fraud and that basically takes an effect on small businesses and large businesses alike," he said.

"For every piece of technology that is created to prevent fraud, there will be people out there trying to commit crime - and there will always be many times more people trying to commit fraud than there will be trying to prevent it."

Over the Christmas period especially, people will potentially run up big credit card bills and carry out a lot of online transactions, but Elliot warns that guarding personal information is the key.

"What a fraudster normally needs is information about you," he says.

"So my advice to everyone out there who wants to keep themselves safe is never to divulge any personal information to someone unless you know who that person is and you know that they are entitled to have the information."

© UTV News
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