Door-to-door conman who scammed Southsea residents and a pub with 'lost key' story is jailed
A BRAZEN door-to-door scammer who repeatedly posed as a new neighbour in need of taxi money to go and collect a spare key has been jailed for 10 weeks.
Conman Mark Yeganeh of South Parade, Southsea, took advantage of Good Samaritans who gave him up to £40 a time when he lied about losing the key to his fictitious new home.
The 52-year-old then pocketed the cash instead of hiring a taxi to collect a spare, as he told residents he would in a ‘sob story' he took across Southsea.
Sly Yeganeh duped John Harvey and a neighbour, of Napier Road, into parting with £25 with the roaming scam in April.
In all he took £187 from his elderly and vulnerable victims.
It is understood police launched enquiries into the fraud after the scam was revealed in CCTV footage, above, in a News appeal that reached thousands.
‘I’m very pleased – I don’t feel so stupid knowing this happened to other people,' said 68-year-old John on Yeganeh's conviction.
‘Abusing people's trust was obviously his modus operandi because it soon became clear he was doing this all over Southsea.
‘It needed to be stopped and the police have done an excellent job. I was surprised he got as much as 10 weeks.’
To make his story more plausible, Yeganeh targeted people near neighbouring homes with signs saying they had just been sold or let.
He also swindled bosses at The Phoenix pub in Duncan Road out of £25 in May, before being spotted by staff when he later returned.
Landlord Kath Birch, 54, said Yeganeh told staff who interrogated him ‘it was his brother’, before leaving and never returning.
‘It's hard enough to run a pub these days without people doing things as disgusting as that,' said Kath, the pub's boss of 17 years.
‘He said it was his brother, then said “I’m sorry, I'll go and get the money for you" – like we were going to believe that.'
Yeganeh was sentenced for six frauds on September 4 and was told to pay £187 at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.
He admitted six counts of fraud by false representation.