Yazid Hafizuddin Abdul Khair, 30, a former employee with StarHub, has pleaded guilty to stealing S$15,000 from the telco due to taking advantage of a loophole in StarHub’s IT system.
Yazib bought 20 mobile phones at lower prices due to their being part of mobile phone contracts. He then changed how long the contacts were so he could avoid paying penalties and then sold the phones at a profit.
The former StarHub employee worked at the telco as a customer service consultant and said that he conceived his plan when a customer checked on his penalty charges after having ended his contract early. Having found out that no early termination charges would be given if the customer’s mobile voice services contract were decreased from two years to one year, Yazid failed to disclose this loophole from his immediate superior.
Instead, he took advantage and enrolled himself, his wife and younger brother for mobile phone plans and obtained the newest Samsung and Apple phones at reduced costs, entered int the telco’s IT system to alter the length of the contracts on these phone plans so that he would avoid charges for early termination.
Yazid was able to obtain an Apple iPhone 8 Plus 64GB in December 2017 on a S$200 Starhub XL mobile voice service plan. He later sold the phone for over S$1,000, and by January enters the system again to change the contract period, which meant that he did not have to pay an early termination charge of S$1,498.
Repeating this modus operandi for almost three years, he was able to make around S$ 15,000 from the phones, while the telco lost S$ 22,684.
In January 2018, StarHub fraud analyst Koh Teng Hiok discovered Yazid’s modified contracts and investigated the matter, which culminated in a police report against Yazid filed on February 12.
Yazid could go to jail for as long as 3 years, or pay a fine of up to S$10,000 for every charge.
A jail sentence of 9 months if being sought for Yazid due to his “sophisticated” methods, according to Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran.
Yazid has already made full restitution to StarHub for its losses.
He pleaded guilty to twelve charges under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act on November 21, Wednesday, and is currently out on bail for S$20,000, but will be returning on November 23, Friday, for sentencing. There are also 30 similar charges that Yazid admitted to, which judges will consider in meting out his sentence.