Cruel phone scammers rob elderly Lincolnshire victim of £72k

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Four men have been sentenced for money laundering offences after subjecting an elderly woman to a cruel phone scam which has left her isolated and afraid to answer the door.

The four were sentenced at Coventry Crown Court on Friday, July 28.

  • Neil Percival (53), of Imperial Way, Hemel Hempstead, received 10 months
  • Eddy Ellis (53), formerly of Watford, received 10 months
  • Nazmul Chowdhury (38), of Maple Road West, Luton, received 12 months
  • Mohammed Hoque (60), of Shaftesbury Road, Luton, received a suspended sentence

Ellis and Percival were found guilty by a jury at Lincoln Crown Court on Wednesday, June 21.

Hoque and Chowdhury had previously pleaded guilty to a number of money laundering charges in relation to this offence.

The victim was contacted at home in Wainfleet by phone in February 2015 by a man purporting to be a police officer. She was then bombarded by phone calls for the next three days, some at such a late hour that on one occasion, it caused her to fall out of bed.

The victim was eventually conned into parting with £72,000 which she believed she was paying to police to assist them with a fraud investigation.

Sergeant Kara Nicholson and PC Kate Woods from Skegness CID were the investigating officers in the case.

PC Woods said: “Two years on from the offence and the impact this has had on the victim is still considerable. It has affected her health and she struggles to sleep due to fear of further calls.

“She is afraid to answer the door and has isolated herself from her community.

“We continue to support her and hope that this conviction will help her recognise that she has been very brave and assist in her efforts to move on and hopefully stop living in fear.

“Sadly, this type of phone scam has been common across the country in recent years and we suspect there may be victims who have never reported it due to fear or embarrassment.

“These frauds are offences that we take extremely seriously and I hope that this conviction will give any other victims the confidence to tell us of their experience.”

This type of scam is sometimes referred to as ‘courier fraud’. More information can be found on the Action Fraud website here. 

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