December 11th 2015
Four men from North London who defrauded 18 pensioners in the South of England out of a total of £600,000, have been convicted and will be sentenced in the new year. The fraud was uncovered following a separate terrorist investigation which had revealed payments in a bank account used by someone who had later travelled to Syria.
Mohamed Dahir, 23, Sakaria Aden, 22, and Yasser Abukar, 24, were convicted of conspiring to commit fraud. Mohammed Sharif Abokar, 28, was found guilty of converting criminal property. A fifth man, Ibrahim Farah, 23, was acquitted of conspiring to commit fraud.
The 'vishing' scam – perpetrated between May last year and May this year – involved the men impersonating police officers when they phoned their victims, telling them that they were investigating fraud at their bank. The said that it was necessary to transfer or hand over the money in their accounts to safeguard it from being stolen. The fraudsters advised the victims, all in their 70s, 80s and 90s, to call their bank's fraud department or dial 999. They did so, but the fraudsters kept the line open and the pensioners were, in fact, revealing their ocnfidential financial details to the fraudsters themselves.
Commander Richard Walton, of Scotland Yard, said: "These criminals were targeting individuals who were vulnerable and elderly – in their 70s, 80s and 90s – you know, to be honest, the targeting of individuals like that in our society like that is frankly beyond belief."
If you think that you have been the victim of actual or attempted fraud, report it to Action Fraud on its online reporting tool or by calling 0300 123 2040.