Mohamed Koita was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment
Mohamed Koita, 22, targeted men and women in their 80s in the month after Christmas.
The victims, who all lived in and around Chelmsford, received phone calls from a man who claimed to be a bank manager and told them that their cards were no longer valid.
Koita, of Clandon Road, would then turn up at their doors a short while later to collect and replace the cards.
He gave the victims envelopes containing the alleged new cards, which were in fact cancelled bank cards or gift cards.
DC Ross Thompson, from Essex Police’s Volume Fraud Team, said: “Koita carried out these callous crimes during the festive holiday period and preyed on the victims’ trust and vulnerability.
“Each person was called by a man posing as a bank manager and it didn’t take long for us to work out there was a similar theme.
“On three occasions, bank cards in good working order were swapped for inactive bank cards or gift cards. The victims were also convinced to give over the PIN details, meaning Koita was able to withdraw cash.
“He thought he was clever but on two occasions he was unsuccessful, with the relatives of one woman challenging him before taking a photograph of his car.”
Police arrested Koita on Friday, 3 January. Inside his car, officers found eight bank cards, two envelopes, six gift cards, two phones and a card reader.
Appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, Koita admitted five counts of fraud by false representation and was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment.
“Koita will now spend time locked in prison for his cowardly actions,” said DC Thompson. “I would remind people to never hand out their bank details over the phone despite how convincing the caller may sound.”
Advice on how to avoid courier frauds is available on the Essex Police website.
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