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How I Stole $2.8M As A Teenager | Fakes, Frauds & Scammers

I was involved in fraud for a period
of around about five years. I must have made
thousands of transactions over the time I was doing this. The things that enabled me to do
what I did, at such a young age, were not giving a ****. I guess, like most teenagers,
I thought I knew everything. I did some pretty **** things,
you know? [The Teenage Credit Card Millionaire] I’m Elliot Castro, I’m 36 years old. I’m from Glasgow and when I was a teenager, I spent around 2.5 million pounds
of other people’s money. So, the first time that I was
involved in anything like that was by accident. I found a credit card on
a train and I thought, “Oh, I wonder if I could maybe
do something with this.” So I used it to pay for
my train ticket to school, to just keep the money
and buy sweets. But the police came on the train
and I got caught. So when I left school, when I was 16, I made an application to a mobile
company and told them that I was 18. Got the job, people were calling in and buying things
on their credit cards. I thought that there must be some
way of maybe being able to use that information. I would call the bank
and pretend to be them, have a new card shipped out
to an address, and they would send a card out
and PIN number as well. I was a teenager buying CDs,
haircuts, maybe a T-shirt. Once I realized the potential of what
was happening, that was when it became
a lot clearer to me that the sky was the limit. I was literally going mental. I was rinsing this card,
going traveling all over the place. Been to pretty much every country
in Europe at one point, been to the Far East,
been to America, been to South America. Top hotels, first class flights, nights out, champagne. When I arrived at a certain airport, I’d make sure that there was
a nice car to pick me up. When I went out for meals,
I would go to the best restaurants. When you’re that age
and you don’t have many friends and you just want people to like you,
that’s when you just think, “Well, if money talks
and I know that it gets attention, then that’s what I’m gonna do.” The most I spent in one night
at a nightclub was probably about 15 grand. And it was just bottles
of champagne at 1,500 quid a time, paying for everyone’s drink. Basically, pretty much
everything that I bought was the best in its class. That was when things really
began to escalate. Standard class train fares
became first class train fares, and haircuts at Toni & Guy
or somewhere like that. In Edinburgh I went into a jewelers, it was a Rolex watch that I wanted. I went in and I told the attendant [it was] a golden handshake gift for one of the directors of
our company who was leaving. I paid, it was done
in about three minutes. I walked out the shop and I literally
could have skipped up the street. I just couldn’t wait,
you’ve just got a 12.5 grand watch. That’s probably the biggest
buzz I ever, ever had. I never thought I’d be caught. Literally never thought
it would come to an end. It all went wrong
when I got greedy and careless, as these stories so often end
in this fashion, you know? I bought a BMW 7 series. That was about 50 grand I think,
45, 50 grand, something like that. I didn’t have a driving licence. I couldn’t drive. But just to show off
to people that I knew, I went to the BMW garage and placed
an order for a car straightaway. I went to the loo and when I opened
the cubicle door to come out, there was a guy standing
right in front of me. He grabbed my arm. He said, “We need to have
a word with you.” I had got a wallet full of credit
cards in different names. There was absolutely no way
I was talking myself out of this one. Yeah, that was it, that was the end. One of the worst experiences that
I had was when I was in Canada. I ended up going to prison
there for a while. It was the worst place I’ve
ever been in my life. I spent the first week there crying, it was ******* horrible. It was really, really bad. People being stabbed regularly. Everything just crazy. I rang the Immigration Department
in Canada and pretended to be from
the British Embassy. And the guy at the
Immigration Department said, “Oh yeah, Mr. Castro,
he’s being deported on Monday. And we’ve been asked to inform
Detective Eastgate at Scotland Yard when he’s leaving.” And I just said, “Well, that’s OK, the embassy will take care
of that for you.” And he said, “Ah, that’s great. Thank you so much,
that’ll save me some work.” So when I got back… interestingly, there was
no one waiting for me. But when I arrived back,
I had no money, I had nothing. They confiscated all my money
that I had with me. So, I found the airline ticket
that they booked for me back, complete with all the credit
card details that they’d used. So I booked my own ticket
on Canadian Immigration’s card back to Glasgow. They’d been chasing me
all around the world, actually. I thought that was it, I thought, “I can’t believe it,
I’ve managed to escape again.” I went to court in Manchester, talked
myself out of a sentence there. Went downstairs to get my belongings and there was another two cops there, waiting to take me
to London this time. Then when I got to London, this was
the detective from Scotland Yard who’d been after me for like three
years or something like that, who I’d managed
to evade capture from. When he met me, he was actually
delighted to meet me. It was the strangest experience
I’ve had in my life. In the end, I got
a two-year sentence, which, considering what I did,
was an absolute result. You know, you hear people saying
all the time that… well, you did when you were
in prison, you’d hear people saying,
“Yeah, prison’s a piece of ****.” It’s not, it’s horrible. When I came out, I made a
decision that, you know, I wasn’t gonna do that anymore,
that was it. I know that I never meant
to hurt anyone, even if that’s what happened,
I didn’t mean it, you know? So, I’ve just got to deal with it now
and crack on. I’ve got a lot to be grateful for. You know, I **** up and I’m
glad I did it early in my life because I can now get on with
the rest of my life. I had my own journey to go on and it was different. It was amazing at times, but, you know, there were some
pretty dark times, too.
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