A 38-year-old Indian-origin man Gurtake Singh, who posed as someone in dire need of help, preyed on the goodwill of people with sob stories such as claiming he required taxi money to visit ill relatives in hospital. According to the West Midland Police told Birmingham Crown Court, the accused deceived people into giving donations of 20 pounds to 350 pounds. Singh, who referred to himself as "Mr Con", admitted 11 counts of fraud and one of theft.
Detective Sergeant Phil Poole of West Midlands Police said: "Singh's tactic tended to be knocking doors in a panicked state, sometimes crying, in order to gain entry. Once inside he would tell stories of relatives being rushed to hospital and that he desperately needed taxi money to visit them. Victims described him as friendly and charming, even kissing them on the cheek and accepting drinks while engaging them in conversation. He was very plausible and showed no remorse for the people he conned".
Singh first struck last June when he was allowed into the home of a 69-year-old man where he convinced the victim to hand over 30 pounds, also swiping a silver cup on leaving. He also scammed 150 pounds from an 82-year-old woman and returned the next day with fruit to say "thank-you" - before getting her to take out another 350 pounds to help pay for a medical trip to India.
In one incident, he introduced himself to an 84-year-old woman as "Mr Con" and kissed her on both cheeks as she handed over 40 pounds from her pension.
As a well planned strategy, he knew the names of the residents he approached and also names of neighbours.
The accused Singh has been jailed for three years and one month and also ordered to pay back 1,552 pounds compensation to his victims and banned from cold-calling addresses or asking people in the street for money.