A gang of nine men who conned pensioners aged between 70 and 94 out of their life savings in a phone scam were sentenced to a combined total of more than 31 years in prison for their parts in a heartless and elaborate fraud.
The men, operating as a team, travelled from Birmingham and London to Hull and East Yorkshire to carry out the scam over four days between 2 and 5 June 2015. They made calls to more than 100 potential victims using a number of different mobile phones that were unregistered. Some of these phones were using cells in the Humberside area but some were also using cells in London, meaning there were other suspects that needed to be identified.
Pretending to be police officers, the scammers alleged that criminal activity was taking place on the victims’ bank accounts or at their bank branch and persuaded them to hand over substantial amounts of money. Hull Crown Court heard the 17 victims lost nearly £40,000 and a further £84,150 was attempted from 11 further identifiable victims.
As the suspects were using their personal phones as well as ‘burner’ phones during the course of the conspiracy period, it was possible do some co-location analysis.
Due to the volume of cell site data that had been requested for the case, to have mapped and conducted cell site analysis manually would not have been feasible due to the time constraints. By using the co-location analytics in CSAS another four co-locating telephones were identified within a day, with further research being conducted and four more suspects being identified.
All four suspects were charged and brought to trial. During the trial further exhibits were required, all involving telecoms data, again with the help of CSAS, the exhibits were easily and quickly produced for court the next day. In total 10 suspects were charged, eight pleading guilty before trial, two went to trial with one being found guilty and one not guilty. Those found guilty were sentenced to between eight months and five years each.
This complex investigation by West Yorkshire Police and Humberside Police lasted two and a half years.
Find out more: BBC News website
Download an A4 printable summary of this case [pdf]