Two fraudsters conned an elderly woman out of more than £60,000 before she turned the tables on her cruel tricksters by luring them into a police trap.
The 92-year-old received a phone call at her home in Solihull from Mohammed Irfan Butt
posing as a detective, claiming her bank account had been hacked. He persuaded her to withdraw £8,300 in cash and hand it to Zohaib Khalid – a 20-year-old Aston University student paid to play the role of police courier.
Butt later called the pensioner again and talked her into buying two Rolex watches worth £53,000 from a town centre jewellers and asked her to again pass them to Khalid.
The OAP suspected she’d been deceived and alerted West Midlands Police when he asked for £13,700 as part of an ‘undercover operation’.
Khalid was arrested by officers when he turned up to collect the cash. Examination of his phone led officers to identify Butt, 24, as the orchestrator of the scam and he was arrested from his London home in August last year.
Both initially denied conspiring to commit fraud but later admitted the offence.
Butt was jailed for four-and-a-half years while Khalid, from Bridge Close in Sparkhill, was handed a three-year prison sentence earlier this month.
Detective Constable Richard Taberner 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 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.
“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 realised 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.”
Detectives traced more people who’d received fraud phishing calls but none had parted with money after suspecting it was a con.
Picture: Left-Zohaib Khalid, Right-Mohammed Irfan Butt