With scams on the rise, Jono and Ben caught up with Tony Sales, once labelled Britain's Greatest fraudster, who managed to steal over $32 million before being apprehended and turning over a new leaf.
Listen to Part 1 ...
And Part 2 of their interview with him now!
Tony has since reformed and co-founded a prevention group called We Fight Fraud, dedicated to helping people avoid falling victim to scams. His intriguing backstory and expertise make him a valuable resource when scams are on the rise at the moment.
From an early age, Tony was drawn into a life of crime, starting with credit card fraud at just thirteen. His criminal activities escalated rapidly, delving into manufacturing credit cards, stealing track two information, and eventually engaging in mortgage fraud and identity theft. He admits that his troubled upbringing played a significant role in his descent into the underworld of crime.
Tony's motivation was not solely financial; assuming someone else's identity temporarily provided him with a sense of relief from his troubled past.
Throughout his illicit career, Tony accumulated an estimated £30 million through various fraudulent schemes. His methods involved exploiting the flaws in the credit system and orchestrating elaborate scams, such as obtaining mortgage offers and absconding with the funds. Tony lived a lavish lifestyle, owning luxury yachts and properties abroad.
However, this high-stakes existence also meant constantly evading law enforcement, leading to a six-year period as a fugitive.
Former fraudster Tony Sales. Photo / Supplied via We Fight Fraud
It was during this time on the run that Tony experienced a significant turning point. Arrested and confronted with the consequences of his actions, the impact on real individuals became undeniable. The guilt and remorse he had long avoided finally caught up with him. This pivotal moment fuelled Tony's transformation, prompting him to become an advocate against fraud and assist others in protecting themselves.
Tony emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility in combating scams. He highlights that in today's digital age, where personal information is readily available online, individuals must exercise caution with what they share.
The explosion of the internet has made data easily accessible to criminals, enabling identity theft and other fraudulent activities. Tony urges people to treat their identities like precious commodities, cautioning against the indiscriminate sharing of personal information.
With his vast knowledge of scams and their evolving tactics, Tony explained that there are no new scams—only old ones with new spins. By familiarising themselves with common scams, individuals and businesses can better recognize red flags and protect themselves from falling prey to fraudsters.
Tony Sales' remarkable journey from fraudster to fraud prevention advocate serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of illegal activities and the importance of raising awareness about scams. Through his candidness and dedication, Tony is helping individuals and companies safeguard their finances and personal information, ultimately empowering them to stay one step ahead of the fraudsters.
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