Nottinghamshire Police have helped jail a fraudster who went on a year-long crime spree stealing people’s identities to authorise credit cards.
Kevin Castle, aged 56, was an opportunistic crook, breaking into people’s letterboxes, stealing post and creating credit cards in their name so he could withdraw money and fund his own lifestyle.
Castle, of Birkin Avenue, Radcliffe-on-Trent, would target people who lived in rural areas and had isolated letterboxes away from their front door.
He would then break into the boxes to steal post which allowed him to gain access to their personal details.
Over 13 months, Castle took out numerous credit cards in his victim’s names, using them to buy everyday items such as toys, decorating supplies and also withdrawing money until the victims’ banks noticed the fraudulent use of the cards.
Castle stole thousands of pounds from his victims, and it was only when his victims began to receive texts from the credit card companies - and due to the fact that he was spotted driving away after stealing post from letterboxes - that his deceitful scheme came to an end.
Castle was certainly prolific. It is estimated he may have targeted over 130 victims in the space of a year, from July 2020 until August 2021.
He pleaded guilty to nine counts of fraud by false representation and one count of theft.
Kevin Castle, picture courtesy of Nottinghamshire Police
Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday, February 8, he was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.
Detective Sergeant Marc Lancaster, of Nottinghamshire Police’s dedicated fraud team, said: “This whole operation run by Castle was targeted, pre-planned and calculated fraud, committed against victims who had no idea he was using their identity to apply for credit cards.
“He not only targeted one person but continued with his fraudulent behaviour for months and, to evade being seen or traced, would drive away quickly with his car boot open to prevent his registration number being seen - showing just how planned his behaviour truly was.
“This type of offending is extremely personal in nature and causes significant amounts of distress to the victims not just financially but emotionally, often leaving the victims feeling completely betrayed.
“Thanks to the help of his victims, post office workers and our officers we were able to gain so much evidence to haul Castle up in front of the courts and I’m so pleased with the outcome that will see him now serve time behind bars for his actions.
“Fraud can have a truly devastating impact on its victims and Nottinghamshire Police will not tolerate this kind of offending and I hope this case shows just how serious we take any reports of fraud made to us and how much work we put into a case to bring the offender to justice.”
Nottinghamshire Police have some useful tips on how to spot and prevent fraud on their website: https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/fraud
Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).