Zim man (27) jailed for credit card scam in the UK
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Hove was arrested after a car in which he was a passenger was stopped by police on Luton Road, Harpenden, on February 13.
When a police officer searched his bag, Hove, of East Hunsbury, Northampton, was found with the card numbers, expiry date and security code for people who had placed orders at the Langley Castle Hotel near Hexham in Northumberland.
The card details bore the names of Haydock, Fell and Ellis who had contacted the hotel.
Geoffrey Porter, prosecuting, said: "Phone calls to the hotel had been diverted to a mobile phone. People who had contacted the hotel to make purchases had their calls intercepted by a person purporting to be an employee at the hotel.
"Mr Fell had ordered champagne and roses and had given his credit card details. Mrs Haydock had made a booking at the hotel."
The details had been taken by a man with an Irish accent and were written down by Hove. They had not been used subsequently, the court heard.
Two bank cards belonging to people called Walsh and Hicks were also found in Hove's bag.
Hove, 27, pleaded guilty to possessing articles for use in fraud and dishonestly making false representations. He had previous convictions for fraud and handling stolen goods.
Steven Garrett, defending, said: "Somebody had telephoned British Telecom claiming to be from the hotel and asking for the calls to be temporarily diverted to his phone. The defendant accepts an Irish male received the calls and he noted down the account details."
As Hove was jailed for three years at St Albans Crown Court, Judge Stephen Gullick said he hoped British Telecom would put in steps to prevent the fraud happening again.
The judge told him: "The information you obtained was not used, but this was an extremely serious and sophisticated means of obtaining bank and credit card information from individuals.
"One hopes BT would put in place procedures to prevent this happening again. It was an extremely serious attack in which the bank and credit card details of third parties were obtained by people purporting to work for a luxury hotel.
"As soon as it is known that behaviour of this sort is not acceptable the better."
Hove has been in the UK since 2002, when he was 17, and is a failed asylum seeker. He has temporary rights to stay in the UK while he makes a fresh application. He said he had no rights to benefits and cannot secure a job.
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