TWO men from Hounslow have been charged in connection with an alleged online 'phishing' scam which saw one victim lose her £1 million life savings.
Shumail Butt, 20, of Staines Road, Hounslow, and Shaharyar Butt, 24, of Byron Avenue, Hounslow, were both charged today (Friday, March 16) with conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to launder money.
The pair were among 14 people arrested yesterday across London and the West Midlands during raids by the Met's e-crime unit. Eleven of the remaining individuals have been bailed to return for further questioning.
The arrests came after one woman's £1m savings were allegedly emptied from her account overnight - using her bank details, which had been illegally obtained - and spent over a three-day period.
Phishing is when people attempt to obtain personal details, like bank account numbers and passwords, online by pretending to be someone else.
It often involves emails which appear to be from legitimate companies asking the recipient to provide personal details or reset their password.
Detective Inspector Stewart Garrick, of the e-crime unit, said: "This investigation highlights the need to exercise caution when carrying out online bank activities.
"Only access your online banking account via the genuine bank website. Never click on links within unsolicited emails. Always keep your operating system and anti-virus software updated."
Advice about staying safe when using the internet is available at the website getsafeonline.org.