Jail time for department scam
A man has been jailed for phishing data under the guise of an NT government department.
Thirty-three-year-old Best Okwa was working for the Department of the Chief Minister in Darwin when he sent out an email that appeared to be a customer satisfaction survey from the Motor Vehicle Registry.
Sixty-eight people responded, giving up their personal details, before the scam was detected and stopped.
Mr Okwa pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining a benefit by deception, and setting up a bank account with another man's details.
In 2016, Mr Okwa obtained a driver's licence and Medicare details of a man that he later used to open a bank account.
He also used the stolen identity to set up a domain for the email scam.
Mr Okwa was arrested at his workplace in June 2017.
He has been sentenced to two years imprisonment, to be suspended after six months.
Justice Jenny Blokland said Mr Okwa used a significant level of expertise to create the survey.
“He had a high degree of skill and had the ability to utilise that skill for dishonest purposes,” Justice Blokland said in handing down her sentence.
“It involved a significant amount of planning, including registering a domain.
“The offending is properly described as well organised, sophisticated and elaborate.
“It is a form of cybercrime. The information collected had the potential to be used for other fraud offending.”
She said Mr Okwa’s offending could undermine trust in the public service.
“He was in a position of responsibility in a public organisation, the offending is a significant breach of trust,” she said.
Justice Blokand accepted that Mr Okwa was remorseful and had good prospects of rehabilitation, but said he should not work in a position of trust for some time.