Man sentenced for fraud after conning single women into handing over cash at railway stations
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A 44-year-old man who preyed on single women and conned them into handing over thousands of pounds has been sentenced following a British Transport Police investigation.
Khalid Mahmood, of Vicarage Crescent, Redditch, was sentenced to nine months in jail, suspended for two years, at Inner London Crown Court on Wednesday 20 September after he pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation and three counts of theft.
He was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and attend a rehabilitation requirement for 35 days. He must also pay £20,000 compensation.
The court heard how on three occasions Mahmood used the same tactics to swindle women he met on a dating website out of their cash.
When the first woman agreed to meet him outside Kings Cross station in March 2020 he offered her exclusive membership to a gold trading club if she handed over £6,000. Once he had the cash he told the woman she would need a passport photograph and guided her to a photo booth in the station, while he offered to complete the online forms on her behalf on her phone.
When the woman emerged from the booth Mahmood was gone, along with her cash and phone which also contained her credit card - he used this to withdraw a further £200.
In November the same year Mahmood set up a meeting with his second victim, who he had first engaged with on the same website, at Manchester Piccadilly station where he offered her the same exclusive membership.
After pressurising her into the deal she later agreed to the transaction, meeting him for a second time at Euston station to hand over the cash.
Mahmood's plan was temporarily foiled when he could not locate a photo booth instead sending the victim into a shop to enquire while he made off with her £7,000 cash.
On the third occasion, in July 2021, he travelled to Oxford to meet his victim who he had also initially met on the dating website.
During this meeting he attempted to convince the woman to take up his offer of membership. Despite her telling him she wasn't interested and had no money he called her later the same day to tell her he had already signed her up and would pay half the membership fee leaving her to find the remaining £4000.
Having borrowed the cash from her mother she met Mahmood at Victoria station who made her withdraw an additional £300. He then told her he would complete the online form on her phone while she looked for a photo booth. When she returned Mahmood had left the station with her phone and cash.
Mahmood was arrested by British Transport Police officers in April last year who were waiting at Gatwick airport to meet him from a flight from Pakistan.
Investigating officer DC Jennifer Brown said: "Mahmood conned these women by building up their trust online and in phone calls before setting up the meeting and offering a too good to be true deal.
"Mahmood snared the women, none of whom could afford to lose the cash he stole from them, by promising potential riches from his connections to the gold trading market.
"Once we had Mahmood in our sights it was only a matter of time before he was brought to justice. Criminality of any kind will not be tolerated and we continue to work to deter those who operate criminal enterprises using the rail network."