Four men who posed as police officers and conned pensioners out of thousands of pounds in the Preston area have been jailed.Advertisement
The ‘callous’ group were busted by Yorkshire and Humber Police after an in-depth investigation discovered the gangs fraud taking place across the UK.
Lancashire Police said a number of the victims who were scammed were in the Preston area, and were elderly and vulnerable.
In total £100,000 was taken by the gang in their scheme, and they will now serve 15 years in jail between them.
Malik Amer, 24, of Monthorpe Road, London, admitted conspiracy to commit fraud and was jailed for four years and seven months.
Shah Ahmed, 22, of Toynbee Street, London admitted conspiracy to commit fraud and received four years and seven months in prison.
Rahim Ali, 22, of Vernon Road, London, admitted conspiracy to commit fraud and was jailed for three years and six months at Leeds Crown Court.
Ruhel Miah, 19, of Chilton Street, London, admitted conspiracy to commit fraud and was jailed for four years and 11 months.
The gang would phone elderly and vulnerable people pretending to be police officers and investigating fraudulent transactions or activities on the victim’s bank account.
The bogus police officer would then try and convince his victim a sum of money was needed to be able to investigate the fraud.
The victim was then informed they needed to go to the bank and withdraw between £5,000 and £20,000 to progress the investigation.
One of the gang, dressed as a police officer, would then go to the victim’s house to collect the money.
Or they would ask the victim to do a bank transfer to a ‘safe bank account’.
The single largest amount taken from a victim through the fraud was £37,000.
Police say 60 offences were recorded in Humberside, Staffordshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Kent, Essex, Sussex, Hertfordshire, the Thames Valley area and London area during the 15 month investigation.
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Detective Inspector Martin Melvin, of Lancashire Police, said: “These men committed a number of despicable crimes against elderly and vulnerable residents across the Preston and Burnley areas.
“They posed as police officers to gain the confidence and trust of the victims before betraying them for financial gain.
“While these crimes happened across the country, a number of people in Lancashire fell victim to the scam.
“We were able to warn the majority of people about these offenders through the media, but unfortunately some people had already lost large sums of money.
“Working alongside colleagues from other forces we quickly established the calls were coming from the London area and traced the offenders. The group was subsequently arrested and charged.
“This case serves as a reminder if you get these types of phone calls, report it to the police and your bank before transferring any money into another account or agreeing to hand any of your cash over.
“People who commit these offences will often target the elderly posing as officials to gain their trust. No police officer or other official body will ever ask for your bank details or would ever ask you to withdraw or transfer funds.
“We welcome these sentences and hope they serve as a warning to others – if you commit these crimes, we will catch you.”