A con artist has been jailed for 15 months after committing a series of doorstep scams targeting victims in Croydon.
Sherene Simmons, 32, of Dalmally Road, deceived her victims into believing that she needed financial aid to help seriously ill family members.
She would show up unexpectedly at her victim’s doorstep, seeking money in order to visit a sick relative at hospital, even claiming that her mother had suffered a heart attack.
She returned to the homes of some victims asking for additional financial aid, falsely stating that her mother has died and that she needed to return to the hospital.
Her victims often doubted her story, but still provided assistance on the condition that Simmons would pay them back at a later date.
She typically received between £40 and £60 from duped residents of Addiscombe, Ashburton, Croham and Shirley wards.
Police were first alerted to the scam in March 2014, leading detectives from Croydon CID to carry out extensive enquiries that led to Simmons arrest on May 19, 2014.
Detective Constable Scott Barefoot from Croydon CID, who investigated the case said: “Simmons preyed on the goodwill of her victims to con them out of money, when they thought she was in real need. The judge described her crimes as ‘utterly despicable’ and it is an apt description of what she has done.
“I hope the fact that she will now be behind bars for a significant amount of time will give her victims some comfort.”
Simmons pleaded guilty to 12 counts of fraud by false representation and was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday July 16, 2014.
For further information on how to avoid falling victim to scams, visit the Met Police’s crime prevention page at the following website: http://www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention.