Jailed: Fraudster who conned Hitchin and Letchworth pensioners out of thousands of pounds

Aaron Leacock.

Aaron Leacock. - Credit: Archant

A fraudster has been jailed for 20 months after conning pensioners in Hitchin, Letchworth and St Albans out of more than £17,500.

Aaron Leacock, 29, of South View in Croydon, was sentenced for a series of courier fraud offences when he appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday – having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

Leacock scammed his victims, aged between 77 and 91, on the phone on five occasions between May and July this year.

Two were in Hitchin, one was in Letchworth and two were in St Albans.

On each occasion, the victims were contacted by a man claiming to be from their bank – who convinced them to hand their bank cards and PIN over to a courier.

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The cards were then used to withdraw large sums of cash from their accounts.

The scams were investigated by Operation Manhunt, Herts police’s specialist team which investigates distraction burglary and other crimes which target the elderly and vulnerable.

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Leacock was identified as the man who had made the calls to victims, arrested on July 20, and charged with conspiracy to commit fraud.

Det Sgt Jon Leak said: “This is the latest in a long line of convictions we have secured against people who commit this type of crime.

“I hope it sends a warning that we will continue to thoroughly investigate courier fraud incidents and bring offenders to justice. It is only a matter of time before we catch up with you.

“Courier fraud targets some of the most vulnerable members of society and I would once again urge people to share the following advice with elderly friends, relatives and neighbours to help prevent them from becoming a victim – police and banks would never ask for your PIN and would never ask you to hand over cards or cash to a courier.

“If you receive a call you are suspicious of, hang up and report it to police. Remember to wait at least five minutes to ensure you are not reconnected to the offender, or use a different number.”

Anyone who thinks they may have been targeted in similar circumstances should call police on the non-emergency number 101.

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