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Former teen con artist who stole $2.8 million reveals sob story he told police that helped him get out of trouble

Former teen con artist who stole $2.8 million reveals sob story he told police that helped him get out of trouble

Elliot Castro opened up about how he fraudulently obtained people's credit card details and used them to go on immense shopping sprees

A former con artist has opened up about how he managed to rack up some $2.8 million on stolen credit cards.

Elliot Castro was just a teenager when he began using stolen credit card information to pay for luxury items.

Castro, now 42, is the subject of BBC documentary about his teenage exploits which began when he was just 16 years old.

The former criminal now works as an expert in fraud prevention, but first got a job in a call centre when he was 16 by lying about his age.

Part of this role involved him having to deal with customers' credit card information.

And while he was working there, he came up with a way to get customers to also give him the answer to their personal security question.

This involved going through the standard procedure of getting the card number and the expiration date.

But Castro would then put the customer on hold before telling them that there was a problem with their card, and the bank would need additional information.

The fraudster would then rattle off a series of common security questions, name of your first pet, mother's maiden name etc, until he felt he would have enough information to call their bank impersonating them.

He claimed that he 'never really got any resistance at all'.

By the time he lost his job at the call centre for tardiness, Castro had enough credit card information to fill up a whole notebook.

He then moved on to the next stage of the process.

Casto opened up about his crimes as a teenager. (Instagram / @elliotcastroooo)
Casto opened up about his crimes as a teenager. (Instagram / @elliotcastroooo)

This involved working his way through his notebook and calling up the bank for each card, changing the address, requesting a replacement card, and then changing the address back before the customer noticed.

With this he could also forge a signature on the back of the card, which meant he didn't have to try and copy one whenever he tried to use it.

Finally, he travelled to London to go on an expensive shopping spree, including spending more than £1,000 in a champagne bar.

But in 1999 while shopping in Manchester, he remembered using a stolen card to buy something when an acquaintance called out his name, that didn't match the name on the receipt.

He recalled: "So I ran out the shop and straight into the arms of two cops who happened to be passing by."

But thinking on his feet, he told a lie to the police officers. Castro recalled: "I poured my heart out, said I'd ran away from home and had no money and they sent me on my way.

Castro now works in fraud prevention. (Instagram / @elliotcastroooo)
Castro now works in fraud prevention. (Instagram / @elliotcastroooo)

"I realised in that moment just how easily I could convince people of whatever I wanted. I felt untouchable."

He was finally caught when he used a card belonging to a doctor to pay for a train ticket, and someone became ill on the train.

After going to A&E for hours, Elliot says a nurse encouraged him to assess the patient himself.

When he got home he found that there was a warrant for his arrest, and he would go on to be jailed for four months.

This was for credit card theft, common assault, and impersonating a doctor.

Reflecting on his crimes, he said: "When I started doing this I never actually thought of people. I never met these people. That doesn't make it right.

"What I understood about the way credit cards worked at the time was that if the cardholder hadn't authorised the transactions - which in my case they didn't - then they wouldn't lose anything financially."

Featured Image Credit: BBC / Instagram/@elliotcastroooo

Topics: News, UK News, Crime