Two fraudsters have been jailed for a total of nine years after a scam in which elderly and vulnerable people were conned out of more than £100,000.
The men aged 26 and 27 carefully selected their victims who were mostly aged in their 80s and 90s as part of their elaborate scam.
Investigating officers found that victims were first targeted by phone with the caller claiming to work for either the Metropolitan Police or a fraud investigation team of a bank.
The caller would then tell them that they had been the subject of fraud on their bank account and that a police officer would be calling to visit them.
Collecting personal details
Both men from Forest Gate, London, sent their friends on the home visits where they would collect the personal details needed to steal thousands of pounds from the 27 pensioners.
The victims, who ranged from 61 to 98 years old, lost sums of up to £13,000. Officers who investigated found that on one occasion, £45,000 from a savings account had been targeted and moved in preparation for withdrawal. However, banking security measures identified the potential fraud and stopped the transaction.
They used the money, including £13,000 from one victim alone, to fund a lavish lifestyle and rent a Thames riverside flat in a development popular with professional footballers and musicians. They also hired several luxury cars.
91 year old victim speaks anonymously
A 91-year-old Maidstone woman who was tricked out of over £7,000 spoke out to warn others about what had happened.
Speaking anonymously she said: ‘Not only have these conmen taken my money but they have also taken my pride. I feel extremely embarrassed that I fell for the scam, but clearly I am not the only one who has been taken in by their lies. I thought they were trying to help me, but they were just trying to get my money.’
Detective Constable Don Share, from the Serious Crime Directorate’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, who led the investigation, said: ‘The actions of these conmen are despicable, preying in every case on the elderly and vulnerable. They thought nothing of stealing, in some cases, an entire lifetime’s savings.
‘The elaborate nature of this scam added credibility to the story, especially when the phone calls were followed up by a visit the victim was expecting. By posing as officials from law enforcement, this pair knew it was much more likely those they chose to con would not think twice about handing over their personal bank details.
‘The impact that these crimes had, on sometimes confident and independent elderly victims, remains today, with many victims left questioning their own abilities. I hope the sentencing today will reassure them. It is unfortunate several of the victims have now passed away without seeing that justice has been done.’
For further information visit the Kent Police website.
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