Four men who pretended to be police officers as they conned more than £100,000 out of elderly and vulnerable victims have been jailed.
The four men, all from London, were Malik Amer, Shah Ahmed, Rahim Ali and Ruhel Miah.
A total of 60 offences were recorded in Northamptonshire, Humberside, Staffordshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire Norfolk, Kent, Essex, Sussex, Hertfordshire and the Thames Valley and London areas.
In Northamptonshire, three offences were identified although the victims did not part with any money.
All three calls were made on March 2, 2015, in Northampton, Bugbrooke and Towcester, but no money was handed over.
The investigation started after a number of fraud cases involving people pretending to be police officers were reported to police in the Yorkshire and Humber region.
The men would phone unsuspecting victims, pretending to be a police officer claiming to be investigating fraudulent transactions or activities within the victim’s bank account.
The bogus police officer would then try to convince his victim that he needed their money to be able to investigate the fraud.
From this point the victim was informed they needed to go to the bank and withdraw a large amount of money (usually between £5,000 and £20,000).
The bogus officer would then send someone around who would also pretend to be a police officer or someone working for the police to the victim’s house to collect the money.
An alternative method the group used to collect their ill-gotten gains was to get the victim to directly transfer the cash (again somewhere between £5,000 to £20,000) to another ‘safe’ bank account.
As officers began to investigate the cases it was quickly established that the offenders were committing similar offences across the country.
Many of the recorded crimes did not succeed - but they still managed to con 10 victims out of a total of £118,000.
The largest single amount defrauded was £37,000.
The four men admitted conspiracy to commit fraud after a 15-month investigation by the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit.
Amer, 24 of Monthorpe Road, and Ahmed, 22, of Toynbee Street, were each sentenced to four years and seven months in prison.
Ali, 22, of Vernon Road was given three-and-a-half years and Miah, 19, of Chilton Street, was given four years and 11 months.
A further man from London admitted one offence of fraud and will be sentenced at a later date.