A man who phoned elderly and vulnerable people pretending to be a Cambridgeshire police officer in an attempt to gain their bank details has been jailed.
Kebba Njie pleaded guilty to 10 counts of fraud by false representation before Cambridge Crown Court last Wednesday (November 16).
Between March 2 and March 17, Njie contacted victims between the age of 56 and 86 as a part of a scam that took place in Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and London, the court was told.
Richard Mandell, prosecuting, said that the 25-year-old sought to persuade a number of victims to hand over their bank details by acting as a police officer and making assertions that the victim’s relatives had been arrested and he needed bank details from them.
In one of the offences, Njie contacted a 67-year-old woman and claimed that he had her grandson in custody.
“The victim provided the defendant with her bank details and her pin. He would then pass the phone onto his colleagues which would seem to be another voice to people on the phone so identifying him as another police officer,” said Mr Mandell.
The victim, in this instance, thought that something wasn’t right about the call and cancelled her bank card. The other nine incidents didn’t work and no details
were handed over.
Michael Goold, mitigating, said Njie, of Grays, in Essex, was a drug user and fell into the scheme with people who were dealing him drugs.
He added that, in a bid to get off of drugs, Njie moved to Essex from West London but began taking them after a road accident in February.
Mr Goold said: “He was given painkillers, but he felt they were not strong enough and he turned to stronger drugs.”
Mr Goold said Njie had already spent six months in custody and so was clean of drugs, and wished to get more involved in his daughter’s life.
In sentencing, Judge Gareth Hawkesworth handed a 16-month sentence to the Gambia-born offender.
“You took part in a pervasive scam which is becoming common and caused a great deal of possible anxiety to the elderly and the vulnerable,” the judge said.
“It’s purely good luck for you that not one of these scam attempts succeeded, but this still had a serious impact on your victims because they are vulnerable and are now fearful of being phoned and isolated further.”
He was also ordered to pay £1,200 towards prosecution costs.