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Scammers target Hampshire motorists
CONMEN on Hampshire roads have targeted motorists for cash by claiming they have run out of fuel.
There have been 65 reports of such scams between October 1 last year and February 16 this year, with many taking place on roads in Basingstoke and the surrounding area.
During that period, three incidents have taken place at junction six of the M3 at Basingstoke. The scammers have also been reported on the motorway at Hook, Hook Common, Kempshott and Old Basing.
The scam involves motorists being flagged down by someone in a lay-by or on the hard shoulder claiming to have run out of fuel.
The conmen 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.
Sometimes the conmen have children in their car.
Detective Superintendent Paul Barton said: “Sadly, some people willingly hand 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.”
He added that he hoped the scams did not dissuade people from offering help at the side of the road to people who really need it.
The scammers have various descriptions – some claim to be from Germany, others are reported to be Asian, Eastern European and Italian.
Similar offences have been reported at Tot Hill Services on the A34 at Burghclere, and on the B3349 at South Warnborough.