Two arrested for defrauding Virgin Media

Posted on Tuesday 20th April 2010 at 10:55 pm by SH (Editor)

Police have arrested two men after hundreds of Virgin Media set-top boxes, smartcards and cloned cable modems were seized during a raid.

Officers worked with Virgin Media on the operation to stop the illegal modification of digital TV set-top boxes and cable modems, used for accessing broadband internet services.

Four addresses in Downend Road, Trinity Court, Dursley Road and Cross Street were searched on Friday April 9 and two men were arrested on suspicion of defrauding Virgin Media. They have been released on police bail pending further enquiries. Two other men are assisting police with their enquiries.

PC Colin Symington said: “This was a very successful operation and we are pleased to have been able to work in partnership with Virgin Media to target people illegally benefiting from the proceeds of crime.”

“People should be aware that if they are using set-top boxes that have been illegally modified to receive free channels or cloned cable modems they are committing a serious criminal offence. Anyone receiving channels that should be paid for is at risk of being prosecuted.”

The raid uncovered a total of 54 digital TV set-top boxes, 127 cable modems for accessing the internet and 375 smartcards used to illegally obtain digital TV channels. In addition computer equipment was also seized.

Malcolm Davies, Virgin Media’s head of fraud and security, said: “This should act as a serious warning to others to steer clear of selling illegal TV or broadband equipment. We take this matter extremely seriously and will continue to work closely with police forces throughout the UK to prosecute individuals connected with this type of fraud.

“Anyone thinking of buying a cut-price box needs to know that they are throwing their money away. Later this year we will introduce a new encryption process in Avon and Somerset, which is already rolling out across other parts of the UK now. This will protect our existing customers and make it impossible for others to take our services unless they pay for them legitimately.

“We understand it might be embarrassing for anyone who has already been misled by these sellers and conned, but if people are concerned that they have been sold illegal cable TV equipment they can call 0800 052 1255 in confidence and Virgin Media’s team will be able to offer advice and help on how to get services legitimately.”

Anyone with information about illegal set top boxes being sold should contact the police on 0870 456 7000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Source: Avon and Somerset Police

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