Hacker made £10,000 worth of calls from public phone boxes
A PHONE-hacker who struck again by running up close to £10,000 worth of premium-line bills has been jailed for 18 months.
Computer expert Dariusz Ganski, of Sunny Bank, Kingswood, used a router to tap into BT phone boxes and made hours of calls to expensive numbers.
Bristol Crown Court heard that the 27-year-old committed his crimes to get electronic credits for music and on-line games, while still on licence from prison for almost identical offences.
Prosecuting, Susan Cavender said between October 27 and November 1 last year, and February 27 and March 8 this year, Ganski made 648 calls, totalling nearly 43 hours, from a phone box in Kelston, North East Somerset. BT was alerted to unpaid calls costing them about £7,700 on that box.
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Ms Cavender said Avon and Somerset police investigated and found a router had been attached to the phone line. Fingerprints were taken from the tape used to attach it, which matched Ganski’s. The police then set up a sting on a phone box in Grimsby Road, Kingswood, which BT also had concerns about. Officers installed a covert CCTV camera and captured Ganski in the act.
When a phone box on Hampton Road, Brislington, also raised suspicions, officers staked it out on March 20 and saw a blue Renault Megane, driven by Ganski, approach it.
When he saw police he drove off at speed before being chased on foot and throwing away a dismantled mobile phone as he was chased.
BT calculated a loss of about £9,500 through Ganski’s activity, but if the calls he made had been paid for the company would have made more than £70,000 profit from them. Ganski admitted four counts of possessing an item for a fraudulent purpose.
Mitigating, Matthew Comer asked for credit for Ganski’s early plea and said although his client was skilled in computers and IT, the method of the crime itself was a “simple” one.
Mr Recorder Ben Compton, QC, jailed him for 18 months.
He said: “Your counsel says you’re intelligent. What a waste that what you really do is go round defrauding companies in this way.”
Last April, The Post reported how Ganski was jailed for a year for tapping into people’s landlines to sell fraudulent credit to people playing computer games online.
After being issued special codes to get credit on internet game websites, he would auction the credit to other users on the internet – racking up huge bills for the original land-line owners in Easton-in-Gordano, making several thousand pounds for himself.
He was released on licence from that sentence, but was soon offending again.