Alton telephone fraudsters who scammed pensioners jailed

Amani, Hajji, Worthington Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption Lungangi Amani, Abdullah Hajji and Rakeem Worthington have been sent to a young offenders institution

A gang who defrauded pensioners out of thousands of pounds in a telephone scam have been jailed.

Rakeem Worthington, Lungangi Amani and Abdullah Hajji, all 20 and from London, were each sentenced to three years and four months in prison.

An 84-year-old man from Alton in Hampshire was persuaded to hand over £2,000 in cash by the men who posed as police officers.

They struck months after being freed from prison for similar offences.

The men admitted conspiracy to defraud.

'Sophisticated fraudsters'

Winchester Crown Court heard they targeted people in the 01420 telephone area around Alton and Four Marks in Hampshire.

During the hearing the court was told a potential victim would be called by one of the gang pretending to be a police officer.

They were asked for information about their bank accounts in relation to a fictional investigation.

An 81-year-old woman was persuaded to take out £2,000 from Barclays Bank in Alton and hand it over to a courier with her bank cards.

Another £1,100 was then taken from her accounts using cash machines.

The judge Recorder Patrick Clarkson described them as "experienced sophisticated fraudsters predating on the elderly and the courts will not let you get away with this in any soft way".

Worthington and Amani from Islington and Hajji from Wood Green were sent to a young offenders institution.

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