England: A senior citizen woman scammed out of more than £60,000 reversed her loses against some 2 bit hustlers by enticing them into police trap.
The 92-year-old senior was victim to a so called ‘Courier Fraud’ after Mohammed Irfan Butt phoned her Solihull home posing as a detective, claiming her bank account had been hacked.
Butt persuaded the woman to withdraw £8,300 in cash and hand it to Zohaib Khalid. Khalid was a University student who was paid by Butt to play the part of a police courier.
Butt later called the woman again and convinced her into buying two Rolex watches worth £53,000 from a local jewelry store and asked her to again pass them to Khalid.
The senior suspected she’d been swindled when Butt tried his luck again by asking her for £13,700 as part of an ‘undercover operation’, she alerted West Midlands Police.
Khalid was arrested by police when he turned up to receive the cash. Khalid’s phone records allowed police to the identify Butt, 24, as the originator of the scam and he was arrested in his London home in August.
Both criminals initially denied there attempts at fraud but later admitted to the crime. Last week Butt received a prison sentence of four-and-a-half years while Khalid, from Bridge Close in Sparkhill, was given a three-year prison sentence.
A Police spokesperson said:
“These types of offences are truly despicable: offenders target elderly victims and exploit their vulnerabilities to trick them into handing over money. Khalid was paid £500 by Butt for each trip and agreed on a collection password with the victim in a bid to give the scam more authenticity. He claimed to be merely acting as a courier and had no knowledge of the scam – but we found web searches on his phone relating to sentencing guidelines for fraud so it’s clear he suspected he was committing an offence.”
Zohaib Khalid and Mohammed Irfan Butt jailed for fraud (Image: @wmp)
The Police spokesperson went on to say:
“Almost £1,000 in cash was recovered and handed back to the victim and if she is unable to be compensated through her bank, we’ll be pushing for a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) case against the offenders to recover money on her behalf. She did brilliantly in alerting us once she realized she’d been tricked – and then played her part in luring Khalid back to her home and allowing us to catch him in the act.”
As seen in this story seniors many times fall victim to this type of scam. Courier fraud works by scammers calling and pretending to be police officers reporting suspicious activity on the victim’s bank account. They might claim to have arrested someone with a duplicate bank card, that money has been taken out of their account, or cash in their account is counterfeit. Some seniors fall for the scam because they believe that this fake story has been verified by a follow-up call to their bank – but because the scammers don’t hang up the victim is unwittingly still speaking to them and not a bank official.
Moral of the story: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.