A woman has been sentenced after she financially extorted her victims on the streets of Brighton and Hove.
Shona Stiles, 36, of no fixed address, was arrested in Hove last Monday (November 27) following a string of frauds across the city.
Stiles approached her targets and stated she needed cash but was unable to make withdrawals as she didn’t have a bank card.
Her act was to emotionally coerce her victims into handing over the money, then pretend to immediately transfer the funds back using a fake banking phoneline and falsified transfer confirmations.
She would tell her victims stories to take advantage of their kindness, such as needing money to get a taxi for her child or trying to escape a boyfriend.
Following her stories, Stiles would take the victims to cashpoints, where they would withdraw and hand over up to hundreds of pounds, expecting it to be returned electronically shortly after.
Stiles appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (November 29), charged with seven counts of fraud, and one of theft.
She pleaded guilty to the charges and has been sentenced to 6 months in prison.
Investigating officer Santa Keise said: “Multiple victims were preyed on and had their kindness taken for granted by Stiles.
“She repeated her charade time and time again, and we believe that there may still be further victims who have been affected by her persistent acts of deception.
“You can get in touch with us and report any further information either online or by calling 101 quoting the reference: 862 of 16/11.
“We thank those who assisted our enquiries, allowing us to swiftly take Stiles off the streets.”