courier fraudsters jailed for conning victims out of £88,000
teenagers have this week been jailed for defrauding vulnerable
people across the south west - including the Burnham-On-Sea area
- out of more than £88,000.
Choudhury and Abdul Shafee, both 19, of Quaker Street in London,
were given the custodial sentences at Bristol Crown Court of 38
months and 15 months respectively.
early January 2015, Rahim Choudhury admitted to conspiracy to
commit fraud offences, where 30 victims were defrauded out of
a total of £88,500.
January 29th Abdul Shafee admitted conspiracy to commit fraud
offences. The prosecution attributed two offender phones to him,
which had been used to call 13 victims of courier fraud.
Inspector Tony Hubbard, of Avon and Somerset Police, who is working
for Zephyr, the South Wests Regional Organised Crime Unit,
said after the trial: "Choudhury and Shafee, who are only
19, committed these crimes, predominantly in the south west, to
fund their cash-rich lifestyle and have shown no remorse to the
victims they have deceived."
can see from evidence recovered how they identified vulnerable
victims and portrayed their own arrogance and extravagant lifestyle,
obtained from the misery and loss of others."
found on their mobile phones included several expensive cars,
as pictured right, and watches, and bundles of cash, which
showed the kind of lifestyle they were living.
Inspector Tony Hubbard added: "We welcome the custodial sentences
imposed against them and hope this sends a clear message to others
to stop now similar crimes or face legal action and the prospect
of a term in prison."
is committed to tackling organised crime that targets the most
vulnerable in our society and will relentlessly pursue all those
involved in this abhorrent crime. Within the south west region
victim losses within the past 12 months are in excess of £2
million, with 700 reported crimes, and no doubt many more crimes
of this nature go unreported," said DI Hubbard.
crime offenders often claim to be officers from the Metropolitan
Police and use a variety of pretences, including suggesting that
a victim's bank card has been used by somebody that they have
in custody. They then ask the victim to phone the bank to cancel
the card and tell the victims that they will send a courier
round to collect the card or money.
the fraudster stays on the line and obtains the victim's bank
details whilst the victim believes they are phoning their bank.
The courier, which is often a legitimate taxi requested by the
fraudsters, then calls at the victim's address and collects an
envelope containing the card or cash requested.
are occasions where high value goods such as jewellery or electrical
items have been collected by the courier, which the victim has,
by direction of the offenders.
urge children, grandchildren, relatives and friends of the elderly
and vulnerable to warn them of the scam. Taxi company owners and
drivers are also asked be vigilant, especially if approached or
asked to courier small packages to London on behalf of elderly
and other financial institutions - in particular counter staff
- have also been asked by police to be suspicious if elderly customers
uncharacteristically withdraw large amounts of cash. Anyone who
receives a suspicious call is urged to hang up immediately, dial
1471 and note the number that called you. If you need to use the
same phone wait five minutes, as the fraudsters could still be
on the line, or use another phone, perhaps a neighbours.
Report the call to your local police on 101 or through Action
guidelines to help you to prevent yourself becoming a victim of
courier fraud are:
Never give your PIN or bank details out over the phone
Never withdraw cash and send it anywhere via a courier
Never send bank cards anywhere via a courier or taxi
Neither the police or your bank with ever ask for you to
do any of the above.
you can assist police in identifying anyone involved in committing
this type of crime, or you have been a victim, call your local
police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You
can also contact Action Fraud (National Fraud and Cyber Crime
Reporting Centre) on 0300 1232040.