Jailed: Dagenham man who helped to con elderly victims out of up to £4,000

Albino Chaves, of Bentry Road, Dagenham, has been jailed. Picture: Essex Police

Albino Chaves, of Bentry Road, Dagenham, has been jailed. Picture: Essex Police - Credit: Essex Police

A Dagenham man has been jailed for his role in a scam that targeted elderly people.

Albino Chaves was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday, October 27 to two years and four months imprisonment after he admitted nine counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and three counts of conspiracy to defraud.

The 24-year-old, of Bentry Road, was involved in a series of frauds in March and April, when conmen contacted elderly victims claiming to be from their bank.

In each case, they said the victim would receive a new bank card and a courier would go to their home to exchange their old card for a new one. Sometimes they were also offered gift vouchers for the exchange.

Chaves was arrested on April 14 after being identified through CCTV and forensic evidence as the courier. He was released on bail with conditions not to enter Essex, while police continued their enquiries.

On April 23, a woman in Frinton, Essex was called in the same way as the victims in the previous incidents.

After speaking with her daughter, she was worried it was a scam.

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The woman was called again a few hours later by the scammer and told a courier would arrive within a few minutes. She explained it was not convenient but he persisted. She hung up and called police.

Officers attended and waited for the courier to arrive. During that time, another victim from Frinton called to report a courier had collected her bank card.

Police stopped a black Mercedes in Thorpe-le-Soken after they noticed it driving around the area and became suspicious.

Chaves was one of the men inside. His mobile phone was seized and officers found messages talking about both fraud victims.

Detective Constable Hollie Hughes, of Clacton CID, said: “These were really callous and distressing crimes targeting victims aged in their 70s to 90s.

“The fraudsters were very persuasive and claimed they were collecting cards from their victims’ homes due to the national restrictions on movement that were in place due to coronavirus.

“The judge heard Chaves was part of a planned and targeted fraud, with victims losing between £300 and £4,000 each.

“He had no regard for the distress it would cause his victims and I hope that this sentence will give them some justice.”