A FRAUDSTER behind an extensive telephone scam has been ordered to pay back more than £100,000.

Giles Ward-Best, of Firbank Road in Bournemouth, made unsolicited phone calls as part of a bid to sell ‘call blocker devices’ for £99.

In total, more than 10,000 sales of the equipment were made with a total value of £600,000 after successful refunds and declined bank payments.

However, numerous consumers claiming they had been mis-sold the devices by Ward-Best - then trading as Telecom Protection Services Ltd - made complaints to Trading Standards. A lengthy investigation was launched.

Last year, Ward-Best, 44, was jailed for five years at Bournemouth Crown Court after being convicted of two counts of operating a business for a fraudulent purpose contrary to the Companies Act 2006 between September 2013 and March 2015. He has now been ordered to pay £128,950 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

It was heard that many of Ward-Best’s customers said they were unable to return faulty devices or cancel within the stated cancellation period.

A considerable number of the fraudster’s victims were elderly. They often found that their phones were not compatible with the call blocker, the equipment stopped the phone and internet connection from working at all, or that when calls could be received, no nuisance calls were stopped.

Analysis of Ward-Best’s accounts showed that over the course of the scam he withdrew £424,000 in cash, with a further £44,100 directly transferred into his personal current account. The benefit from his criminal activity was put at £582,529.98.

A confiscation order was made against him and he has been given three months to pay, or face a further two years in prison.

John Jacobs from the National Trading Standards South West Regional Investigations Team said: “We are pleased that Mr Ward-Best has been ordered to pay a significant six-figure sum under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

“National Trading Standards, alongside Bournemouth Trading Standards, has worked hard to bring Mr Ward-Best to justice, securing a five-year prison sentence.”

Mr Jacobs said the order “ensures that Mr Ward-Best will not profit from his crimes”.

“We hope this will send a resounding message to others who may be engaging in similar frauds that crime does not pay,” he said.