Scammers flagged down 65 motoristsBy Laura Nightingale
March 01, 2013
ROADSIDE scammers have targeted 11 main roads in the News & Mail area by flagging down motorists and claiming they are out of fuel.
On the M3, junction 4a for Farnborough and 5 for Hook and Hook Common have seen six incidents of scammers operating in lay-bys in recent months and the police is warning drivers to report anyone acting suspiciously in this way at the roadside.
Between October 1 last year and February 16, Hampshire Constabulary received 65 reports of such incidents on highways across the county.
The scammers say they have no cash or have lost or left their wallet elsewhere and will offer gold jewellery or, in some cases, a watch in exchange for money.
Of the 65 incidents reported to police, motorists were conned out of cash on 11 occasions. The amounts varied from £10 up to £200.
Detective superintendent Paul Barton, of Hampshire Police, 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.”
During the past four months, Hart saw four scams along the A287 North Warnborough and Odiham, one along A30 Yateley, one on the B3349 South Warnborough and one in Hook Road, North Warnborough.
In Rushmoor, there was one scam in Southwood Road, Farnborough, and another in Wellington Road, Aldershot. In Waverley, there was one scam along the Hogs Back, Farnham.
“Tackling and disrupting organised crime is a priority for the force and it is believed that the offenders are involved in such groups operating across the country," added DS Barton.
“It is believed that the offenders are 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.”
Motorists are being urged to take down the registration number of vehicles involved in suspicious activity. Hampshire Constabulary asked that if anyone suspects someone’s request for help is not genuine, to not be afraid to refuse, especially if you think that person is trying to scam you.
Victims of roadside scams who have not yet come forward, should contact the police as soon as possible to help with ongoing enquiries to trace the culprits.
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or 999 if you suspect a crime is in progress.