Ilford fraudster jailed for six months for targeting elderly

Ilford man Mohammed Koita, 22, has been given a six-month jail sentence for fraud offences committed

Ilford man Mohammed Koita, 22, has been given a six-month jail sentence for fraud offences committed against elderly victims. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

A man from Ilford has been jailed for six months for fraud offences which targeted elderly victims.

Mohammed Koita, of Clandon Road, was sentenced after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation at Bromley Magistrates Court yesterday (Wednesday September 23).

The first count relates to an offence on December 18, 2019.

A 70-year-old man was contacted by phone by someone claiming to be from Barclays Bank, who said there were issues with his card that required him to return it to them by post.

The caller added that one of the bank’s collection teams would pick it up the next day. A man — Koita — attended the victim’s address in Bromley, claiming to be from the collection team.

Becoming wary, the victim told Koita that he had changed his mind and would deliver the card to the bank in person, at which point Koita snatched the card and fled in a black Volkswagen.

Around twenty minutes later £20 was debited from the victim’s bank account at a petrol station, with further transactions — £1,965 to a clothing company and a £500 cash withdrawal — declined by the bank.

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On viewing the petrol station CCTV footage, officers saw Koita wearing a distinctive red padded jacket that was later found at his home.

The second offence took place on February 22, 2019.

An 84-year-old woman received a call from a “David Stirling” who claimed to be from Natwest. He said there was an issue with her account and that a courier called Simon would bring a new card to her Dorset home, quoting a security code.

She then received a second call from a “William Wallace”, who claimed to be the delivery/collection co-ordinator and told the victim that her card would come soon.

A man arrived soon after, saying only “I’m Simon and the code is CM012”. The woman was given an envelope with a card inside, which transpired to be a Google Play gift card.

After being told the gift card was a reward for being a loyal customer, she was tricked into handing over her bank card and pin number. Half an hour later £100 was withdrawn from an ATM.

Koita’s fingerprints were found on the envelope containing the Google Play card.

Det Scott Pounder of the Met’s North East Economic Crime Unit said: “These were cowardly crimes committed against vulnerable elderly victims.

“Crimes of this type can go unreported due to victim’s feeling embarrassed that they had been duped by the fraudsters, but this should not be the case. Koita had fed layers of calls and information to the victims in these two incidents, each call or detail further reinforcing the impression that he was genuine.

“I hope that the sentence handed down affords the victims some closure to what were clearly deeply upsetting incidents.”