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Man jailed for courier fraud in Croydon

News   •   Dec 13, 2018 13:17 GMT

[Jailed: Paul Debenham]

A man who defrauded four elderly victims of more than £5,000 has been jailed.

Paul Debenham, 35 (24.07.83) of Friends Road, Croydon was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on Monday, 10 December at Croydon Crown Court for the following offences:

- Fraud by false representation
- Theft of a motorcar
- Driving without insurance
- Driving without a licence

He had previously pleaded guilty on Thursday, 8 November at Woolwich Crown Court.

The court heard how Debenham, who was identified via CCTV, had targeted the victims aged 81 [1], 90 [2], 91 [3] and 95 [4], and used their bank cards to steal money.

Debenham and other suspects both, male and female, phoned the victims stating they were either from the bank or from fraud teams.

Debenham told the victims that they had been targeted by fraudsters, and believing they were talking to the bank, the victims were persuaded to disclose their bank 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Large quantities of cash were subsequently withdrawn from all four victims’ bank accounts, amounting to a total of £5,000.

Officers launched an immediate investigation after being alerted to the fraudulent activities, when the victims and their families realised they had been defrauded.

CCTV footage was obtained identifying Debenham using the cards he’d stolen in cash machines.

Debenham was arrested at his home address and his clothing matched what he was seen to be wearing in some of the CCTV footage. A list containing contact details was also found at his address and it later transpired that this list contained telephone numbers and addresses for other elderly residents within the Croydon area.

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.”
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.

You can learn more about this particular crime on our website:

www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/door-to-door-courier-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.