A love fraudster preyed on single women he found on dating sites and swindled them out of thousands of pounds. 

Khalid Mahmood, 44, arranged to meet the women at train stations across London, Manchester and Oxford telling them he could make them rich if they paid for an exclusive membership to a gold trading club. 

After he had convinced them to hand over up to £7,000 in cash he fled the scene. 

Mahmood pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation and three counts of theft. 

However, he avoided an immediate prison sentence when he appeared at Inner London Crown Court on Wednesday (September 20). 

He was instead given a nine-month sentence suspended for two years, and was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay back £20,000 to his victims. 

Ham & High: Khalid MahmoodKhalid Mahmood (Image: British Transport Police)

The court heard that the first woman agreed to meet with him outside Kings Cross station in March 2020. 

He told her she could join the exclusive trading club if she handed over £6,000. 

Once he had the cash he took her to a photo booth as he said she would need a passport photograph. 

When she emerged from the booth Mahmood was gone, along with her cash and phone which also contained her credit card, which he used this to withdraw a further £200. 

In November 2020 he met up with a second victim at Manchester Piccadilly. 

He pressurised her into signing up for the same exclusive membership and she agreed to meet him at Euston station to hand over the cash. 

When they arrived at Euston Mahmood sent her into a shop to enquire about a photo booth while he made off with £7,000. 

Then in July 2021 Mahmood travelled to Oxford to meet a third victim from the dating site. 

During the meeting he attempted to convince her to take up his offer of membership despite her insistence that she wasn’t interested. 

But he persevered and called her later the same day to tell her he had already signed her up and that he would pay half the membership fee. This left her to find the remaining £4,000. 

Having borrowed cash from her mum she met Mahmood at Victoria station and he made her withdraw another £300. 

Again he directed her to a photo booth then disappeared with her phone and cash. 

Mahmood, of Vicarage Crescent, Redditch, was arrested at Gatwick Airport in April 2022 as he attempted to board a flight to 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."