EIGHT people have been convicted of conning Warwickshire residents out of thousands of pounds.
They are all from Birmingham and were charged with offences relating to the so-called courier fraud scam which emerged in the run up to Christmas back in 2014.
The charges cover a total of 81 offences, of which 64 were committed in Warwickshire and 17 were committed in Staffordshire between 27th October, 2014, and 6th January, 2015.
The so-called courier fraud saw conmen contact victims claiming to be police investigating fraudulent use of bankcards and asking people to telephone their bank and enter their PIN into the keypad.
But, unbeknown to them, the line was kept open by the bogus officer and they were actually put through to a member of a criminal gang, purporting to be customer services.
Arrangements were then made for a ‘courier’ to collect the cards, which were said to be required as evidence by the bogus officer. After they were collected they are used at cash machines to withdraw money.
Fortunately on the majority of occasions the victims realised this was a scam and out of the 81 offences reported only 13 had money was stolen from their accounts.
A total of £9399.27 was stolen from victims in Warwickshire and £3781.27 was stolen from victims in Staffordshire. Attempts were made to steal a further £12,707.77, however the attempts to withdraw where unsuccessful due to cards being declined or reaching their daily limit.
Six of the eight admitted the charges against them and two were found guilty on Monday, 27th June, after a two week trial.
All eight will be sentenced on Friday, 15th July. They are:
- Shabaz Khan-Pathan, 47, of Foden Road, Great Barr, Birmingham, who pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.
- Rashid Sadiq, 44, of Albert Road, Aston, Birmingham, who pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.
- Suleman Hussain, 20, of Bevington Road, Aston, Birmingham, who was convicted after a two week trial of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
- Mark Campbell, 38, of Manor Road, Atherstone, Warwickshire, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
- Miles Akeel Campbell, 24, of Colman Avenue, Wolverhampton, who was convicted after a two week trial of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
- Samiur Rashid, 26, of May Tree Grove, Birmingham, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
- Alim Ahmed, 18, of Witton Road, Birmingham, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
- A 16-year-old boy from Aston, who cannot be named, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
The scams had a huge impact on some of the victims, many of whom were elderly or vulnerable, said Detective Sergeant Rhys Bower, of Warwickshire Police.
He said: “This is a result of a lengthy investigation by Warwickshire Police in partnership with West Mercia Police and Staffordshire Police, in which a substantial number of victims, many of whom are elderly and vulnerable were affected.
“I have seen first hand the devastating impact that this scam has had on victims, whose trust has been abused.
“We would like to thank everyone who provided information or was involved in the investigation in any way.”
Alexa Trusselle, Staffordshire Police Investigative Officer, added “We welcome these convictions and hope it stands as a warning to other potential fraudsters.
“These unscrupulous individuals targeted those who were vulnerable and/or elderly and travelled extensively to do so.
“This has been a lengthy investigation, carried out in partnership with Warwickshire Police, that has now achieved justice for our victims.”
Anjuli Shergill, senior crown prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: “The defendants deliberately targeted elderly people by pretending to be police officers and bank officials in order to steal from them.
“They were successful on 13 occasions, but there were many more attempted offences and 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 your PIN number to a bank or credit card.
“The CPS will now take steps to recover the amount stolen.”