Moisa Constantin-Florin appeared at Chester Crown Court on Thursday 22 December where he was sentenced to 15 months in prison.
The 24-year-old, of Central Park Road, East Ham, London, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and possession of criminal property.
The case began on 28 June 2021 when a woman in Edinburgh received a call from a man claiming to work for Santander bank.
The man told the woman that there had been fraudulent activity on her account and as a result she needed to move all her money to a new account.
Convinced by the man the woman transferred £21,996.38 into the new account.
However, after becoming suspicious, the woman decided to contact Santander directly and discovered that the call was not genuine, and all the money had gone from her account.
A subsequent investigation by Santander revealed that the money had been transferred into Florin’s account and Santander were quickly able to recover £16,996.38 of the stolen cash.
However, £5,000 had already been moved to other accounts and couldn’t be retrieved.
The investigation was subsequently transferred to Cheshire Constabulary as Florin was residing in the Northwich area when he committed the offence.
Officers from Northwich Proactive Team attempted to locate him but it was found that he had already fled the country.
Florin was circulated as wanted and was arrested by police in London on 22 August 2022 after stop checked a car on Barking Road.
During a search of the vehicle, officers seized £4,135 cash, along with a number of mobile phones, sim cards and notepads which contained various bank account details.
Florin was subsequently charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and possession of criminal property.
Following the sentencing Detective Constable Claire Heatley, of Northwich Proactive Team, said:
“Florin was extremely convincing when he contacted the victim and persuaded her to transfer all of the money, but thanks to her suspicions she quickly reported the incident to Santander and they agreed to reimburse the victim for all the money she had lost, meaning that she is not out of pocket.
“Sadly this is not always the case, and in the age of digital and telephone banking it’s essential that we all take extra care.
“You should never share your passwords or bank details, and if you get a phone call from someone claiming to work for your bank and something doesn’t sound right just put the phone down and ring your bank directly, or alternatively visit your local bank.”