Fraudsters jailed for telephone scam

15/07/2016

A gang from the West Midlands have today been jailed for a total of 10 years and two months at Warwick Crown Court after they were convicted of conspiring to commit fraud by stealing money from elderly people using their bank cards and pin numbers.

Over a three month period between November 2014 and January 2015, the eight defendants acted together to target victims across Tamworth and Stratford-upon-Avon. They would cold call their victims pretending to be an officer from the Metropolitan Police.

The victims were informed that they had been subject to a card cloning fraud and that a suspect had been arrested in relation to the offence. They were advised that in order to prove the offence their bank cards would be required as evidence and were told cancel their bank cards immediately and that a courier would collect them.

The defendants would keep the telephone line open whilst the victims contacted their bank and would pretend to be bank officials. They would obtain the PIN code to the bank card by encouraging the victims to key it in to their telephone keypad, they would decipher the PIN number using a machine connected to the telephone.

One of the gang members, posing as a courier, would collect the bank card whilst the victims were still on the telephone.

The bank cards and PIN codes would be used to obtain cash and buy expensive goods. A total of £13,180.54 was stolen, although the gang attempted to steal a further £12,627.77.

A total of nine defendants were eventually arrested and charged with conspiring to commit fraud.

The following defendants pleaded guilty to taking part in the conspiracy and were sentenced as follows:

  • Mark Anthony Campbell (aged 39) - 27 months imprisonment
  • Samiur Rashid (aged 26) - 48 months imprisonment
  • A 16-year-old youth who cannot be named for legal reasons - Youth Rehabilitation Order, 12 month supervision, activity requirement 30 days, program requirement 14 days
  • Alim Ahmed (aged 18) was given a 12 months detention and training order.
  • Miles Akeel Campbell (aged 24) and Suleman Hussain (aged 20) were convicted after a trial of conspiring to commit fraud and were both sentenced to 20 months imprisonment.
  • Shabaz Khan Pathan (aged 48) and Rashid Sadiq (aged 42) pleaded guilty to fraud by hiring cars that were later used in the conspiracy. Pathan was sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, 100 hours unpaid work and Sadiq to three months imprisonment.
  • Mohamed Mashuk Ahmed was acquitted.

Anjuli Shergill, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "The defendants deliberately targeted elderly people and pretended to be police officers and bank officials. They were successful on 13 occasions but there were many more attempted offences.

"Their actions left a number of victims deeply distressed and upset.

"We would like to remind the public to be cautious when receiving cold calls. All banks provide guidance to customers as to the manner in which they would contact you in an emergency. If you are in doubt as to the identity of a caller then it is important to conduct checks with the authorities before giving out personal or financial information. No bank or police officer would ever ask for the PIN number to a bank or credit card.

"The CPS will now take steps to recover the amount stolen."