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Last Updated: Monday, 15 December, 2003, 14:38 GMT
Bored students' 130m euro spree
A man using a laptop computer
Three German teenagers are facing fraud charges after trying to spend 130m euros ($160m; 91m) of someone else's money on an internet shopping spree.

The three told police in the central German town of Weilburg that they had started the scam simply because they were bored.

Using a school computer, they hacked into an online auction user's account.

In just two hours, they used the account to buy artworks, pubs, patents, restaurants - and even a plane.

Tracked down

In fact, none of the goods actually changed hands during the spree in October - and nobody lost any money.

The auction website spotted the highly unusual activity in the account the three bored 19-year-olds had abused.

Its owner, a man in nearby Ludwigsburg, had no idea what was going on.

The firm traced the original hack back to the school computer used.

It passed on the information to the police in nearby Limburg, who shortly thereafter arrested the three suspects.

None of the three, the police said, denied the offence.

"They gave boredom as the motive, and made no attempt to disguise what fun they had buying only the most expensive things," the police said.

An investigation is under way by state prosecutors.


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