TWO scams feature this week, the first of which is currently being reported across southern England.
Drivers – and those targeted are generally elderly – are being flagged down by a man or men standing by a broken-down vehicle. They are then asked for money with which to buy petrol. In exchange, the victim is offered one to three rings which appear to be gold but are, in fact, worthless, and may also provide a business card suggesting links to Berlin, Germany or Glasgow.
These offences are occurring on ‘A’ roads and slip roads at major junctions. One victim reported seeing the same offenders back at the same spot, the A41 bypass near Tring, on this occasion, two days later at approximately 12.50pm. All suspects are described as male and with dark hair. The description of the ‘broken-down’ vehicle varies.
The second scam is being perpetrated by fraudsters who advertise goods for sale via online auction sites. These goods are advertised as being below market value, but do not exist. Fraudsters use a variety of techniques to persuade the potential buyer that the goods are genuine and that any advanced payment will be protected or reimbursed, should items be faulty or not received.
The advice from Action Fraud is to stay within the auction guidelines stipulated on the website – remember that payments made via bank transfer, money transfer or e-money are not protected, should you not receive the goods.
Meanwhile, ‘No Cold Calling’ stickers are now available in quantity from Trading Standards.
Please note, however, that these do not confer the status of a No Cold Calling zone, for which permission from West Sussex County Council is required.
• Two surgeries will be held this coming week. The first will be hosted by PCSO Chloe Curtis from 10am to 11am on Wednesday, March 18, at Durrington Library, in Salvington Road, Durrington. The second will be hosted by PCSO Helen Green the following day, Thursday, March 19, from 3.30pm to 4.30pm, at the Beach Office in Marine Parade, Worthing.