NZ Internet fraudster sentenced to 35 months inside

An Internet fraudster has been jailed by a New Zealand court for two years, 11 months, for repeated keylogging offences against several online bank account customers and users of the `Trade Me' Web auction site.

The 19-year-old fraudster, Mark Hayes, thought he had got away with the crimes, which involved skimming online bank account details, as well as IDs and passwords for the Trade Me service.

Police say that they know Hayes used keylogging software to get access to the data, which allowed him to make high bids for goodies on the Trade Me service on legit users' accounts, and settle them using the fraudulently obtained bank account details.

When the bank account user realised their loss, they requested a reversal of the transaction, leaving the owner of the Trade Me account with the debt. Nasty.

Auckland police started investigating Hayes' activities at the start of 2005, but initially had problems working out the complexity of what had happened.

When they did, they waited until the day of a concert that Hayes had bought a ticket for on Trade Me, and then arrested him. As Hayes was caught with the ticket in his wallet, police say the fraud was proven, hands down.

According to the police, Hayes initially indicated he would fight the charges but changed his plea to guilty the day before his trial was due to start earlier this month...