A fraudster from Croydon who tricked four elderly victims out of more than £5000 has been jailed for three years.

Paul Debenham, 35, of Friends Road, targeted victims aged 81, 90, 91 and 95, using their bank cards to steal money.

Debenham told the victims they had been targeted by fraudsters, and believing they were talking to their bank, they were persuaded to disclose their account details.

They were then told to enclose their bank cards and pin numbers into an envelope ready for collection from the bank.

A short time after each of these phone calls were made, a courier would arrive at the victims’ front doors to collect their bank cards.

Large quantities of cash were subsequently withdrawn from all four victims’ bank accounts, amounting to a total of £5,000.

Detective Constable Andy Garland said: "Debenham took a calculated approach to fool and mislead vulnerable people into giving away their money.

"He prayed on their trusting nature and encroached on them in their own homes with the sole purpose of stealing from others.

"His selfish and deliberate actions have had enormous consequences on the victims, leaving them feeling embarrassed, vulnerable and ashamed that they have been tricked by this despicable individual.

"I’d like to thank the victims for their bravery and courage in coming forward and providing police with the evidence needed to convict Debenham of his crimes.”

Officers launched an immediate investigation after victims and their families realised they had been defrauded.

CCTV footage was obtained identifying Debenham using the stolen cards at public cash machines.

Debenham was arrested at his home address and his clothing matched what he was seen wearing in CCTV footage.

A list containing contact details was also found at his address which contained telephone numbers and addresses for other elderly residents within the Croydon area.

Anyone who receives a phone call of this nature should contact their banking provider immediately. Banks and police will never ask for your banking pin.

Debenham was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on Monday December 10 at Croydon Crown Court having plead guilty to fraud.

Detectives are appealing for help to identify any potential accomplices’ of Debenham’s, who assisted in these offences.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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