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Don't stop for roadside scammers
10:40am Tuesday 26th February 2013 in Crime and Court
SCAMMERS are targeting drivers at the sides of roads and conning them out of money.
Hampshire police are warning people to be vigilant after 65 separate incidents on highways and motorways in just a couple of months.
In most cases motorists are flagged down by someone stood at the side of a road claiming they have ran out of fuel.
They then tell the driver they have no cash or have lost or left their wallet - and offer what they say is gold jewellery and sometimes a watch in exchange for money.
Since the scam was first reported to police in October last year, 11 drivers have been conned out of cash with amounts varying from £10 to up to £200 on one occasion.
Conmen have targeted motorists on the M3, M27 and A303.
Detective Superintendent Paul Barton said: “It seems the offenders in these cases are preying on the good nature of their victims. Sadly, some people willingly handed over cash thinking the offer would benefit them.
“However the gold is fake, often highly polished copper made to look like gold. The goods they offer are practically worthless.
“Thankfully, in the majority of reports we've heard about, the people contacting us did not take up the offer and were not duped.
“Tackling and disrupting organised crime is a priority for the force and it's believed that the offenders are involved in such groups operating across the country.
“I hope the actions of these few criminals do not dissuade people from offering help at the side of the road to others who genuinely need it.”
Police are advising drivers who spot anyone acting suspiciously at the roadside to call them immediately on 101 and if possible note down their vehicle registration number.
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