Courier fraudsters convicted of telephone scam

27/05/2016

A criminal gang has today been jailed at Birmingham Crown Court after they were convicted of committing a series of 'courier frauds' which defrauded victims from across England of approximately £18,000.

The three men and one woman would cold call victims, who were mainly elderly, and pretend to be from the police informing them that their bank details had been compromised by fraudsters.

The victims would then be asked to contact their banks to cancel their bank cards. However, unbeknown to the victims, the defendants would not hang up and instead keep the line open which allowed them to continue speaking with the victim by then pretending to be an official from their bank.

They would ask the victim to enter their pin number via the telephone keypad claiming that this was secure. In fact the fraudsters were able to decipher the number entered via a machine linked to the telephone which they had connected.

The defendants would then speak to the victim again claiming to be police officers and would ask for the bank card to be handed to a courier who would be sent to collect the card. They would even set up a password between the victim and the courier in order to instil confidence in the victims.

Once they got hold of the bank card, the defendants would then use this and the pin number to withdraw money from the victims' bank accounts and / or buy goods.

Following a police investigation the defendants were identified and arrested.

Defendants and charges

  • Jahangir Khan, 24 - was the ring leader of the operation would call the victims, arrange collection of the cards and used the cards to obtain cash and goods. He pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud and one of conspiracy to acquire, use or possess criminal property and was sentenced to three years and two months imprisonment.
  • Arafa Begum, 22 - was Khan's girlfriend and she travelled widely with him during this fraud as they moved around targeting different areas of the country.  She was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to defraud and one of conspiracy to acquire, use or possess criminal property and was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 21 months and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work.
  • Mohammed Kobir Miah, 22 - was one of the defendants who would call the victims, arrange collection of the cards and used the cards to obtain cash and goods, pleaded to two counts of conspiracy to defraud and was jailed for three years and 10 months.
  • Motahir Rahman, 25 - the defendant's role was to use the cards to obtain cash or was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and he was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for 21 months and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work

Diane MacKriel, Senior Crown Prosecutor from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service's Complex Casework Unit, said:

"These individuals were all involved in a large and sophisticated fraud operation which targeted vulnerable victims from across West Midlands, West Mercia, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire and Wiltshire.

"They would assume the identities of police officers and bank officials to con their victims into believing that they were victims of fraud and that their bank accounts had been compromised.

"Their illegal activities netted the gang approximately £18,000, which the CPS will now be looking to recover from the defendants.

"Some of the victims suffered great distress and upset as a result of having their cards taken and money stolen. When contacted by the real police officers investigating the fraud they were often still frightened and found it very difficult to trust.

"We would like to remind the public to always remain vigilant. No bank or police officer would ever legitimately ask you to provide them with your PIN number. If you are in doubt of the validity of a caller then it is important to terminate the call immediately."