A man has been found guilty of conning single women into handing over thousands of pounds.
Khalid Mahmood, 44, used dating websites to swindle women out of their cash.
He was sentenced to nine months in jail, suspended for nine months, Inner London Crown Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation and three counts of theft.
The court heard how a woman met Mahmood outside Kings Cross station in March 2020. He offered her exclusive membership to a gold trading club if she handed over £6,000.
Once he had the cash, he told the woman she would need a passport photograph and guided her to a photo booth in the station, while he offered to complete the online forms on her behalf on her phone.
When she emerged from the booth, Mahmood had fled with the cash and her phone which contained her credit card. He used this to withdraw another £200.
In November the same year, Mahmood met a second victim who he met on the same website at Manchester Piccadilly. She was offered the same exclusive membership.
After pressurising her into the deal she later agreed to the transaction, meeting him for a second time at Euston station to hand over the cash.
Mahmood's plan was temporarily foiled when he could not locate a photo booth. He sent the victim into a shop to enquire while he made off with her £7,000 cash.
In July 2021, he travelled to Oxford to meet his victim who he had also met on a dating website.
During this meeting he attempted to convince the woman to take up his offer of membership.
Despite her telling him she wasn't interested and had no money, he called her later the same day to tell her he had already signed her up and would pay half the membership fee - forcing her to find the remaining £4,000. The woman borrowed the cash from her mother.
She met Mahmood at Victoria station and he asked her to withdraw an extra £300, before being told to look for a photo booth while he completed the online form on her phone. When she returned, Mahmood had left the station with her phone and cash.
Mahmood was arrested by British Transport Police (BTP) officers in April last year who were waiting at Gatwick airport to meet him from a flight from Pakistan.
Investigating officer DC Jennifer Brown said: “Mahmood conned these women by building up their trust online and in phone calls before setting up the meeting and offering a too good to be true deal.
“Mahmood snared the women, none of whom could afford to lose the cash he stole from them, by promising potential riches from his connections to the gold trading market.
“Once we had Mahmood in our sights it was only a matter of time before he was brought to justice. Criminality of any kind will not be tolerated and we continue to work to deter those who operate criminal enterprises using the rail network.”
Mahmood was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and attend a rehabilitation requirement for 35 days. He must also pay £20,000 compensation.