A scam artist who targeted elderly people in a bid to steal money from them has been locked up.
Arfan Choudry spent the last four months targeting elderly people in the Basford, Wollaton, the Arboretum, and Forest Fields areas of Nottinghamshire – each time playing on the innocent victims’ sympathy and telling them a sob story about his life.
Choudry told his victims how he had been in hospital and was sick and needed money for a taxi, promising them that he would pay them the money back but never returning to pay his debt.
Most of his victims were aged 70 and over with Choudry taking cash ranging anywhere from £19 to £40 on each occasion.
His fraud spree took place between October 2022 and January 2023 until plain-clothed Operation Reacher officers searching for him clocked him coming out of an address in Forest Fields, on Friday (3 February).
The 49-year-old, of no fixed address, appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Monday (6 February) after being charged with 10 counts of fraud by false representation.
He was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison.
Radford City Operation Reacher Sergeant Mark Westlake, whose team arrested Choudry, said: “Thanks to the work by my team and their patience we were able to detain and arrest Choudry without him even knowing we were actively hunting for him and put him before the courts to answer for his crimes.
“This is exactly what Operation Reacher was set up to do – to target offenders in society who prey upon people within the community and make their lives tougher.
“I want to thank my team for their tenacity, determination, and stealth which has resulted in us taking a scammer off the streets and protecting vulnerable people within our community and also our superb prisoner handling team who helped to pull together the accounts of so many victims and achieve this positive outcome.
“No member of the public deserves to be treated in this way and have their hard-earned money stolen from them and we understand how deeply upsetting an incident like this can be not just emotionally but financially too.
“I want to thank all the victims in this case for their courage in stepping forward and reporting the crimes to us.
“You may not always see us, but we are out patrolling and doing everything in our power to keep our communities safe – be it in plain clothes, uniform, or in our distinctive Operation Reacher vehicles.
“I want to encourage anyone who believes they have been the victim of fraud to please get in touch with us and report it.”
Call 101 to report an incident, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to make an anonymous report, and in an emergency always call 999.