Officers are issuing advice to motorists after suspicious incidents where motorists have been offered gold in Basingstoke this month.
Two reports were received on Tuesday, September 9. The first was at Morrisons on Worting Road where a man was asked by a group if he would take them to collect fuel in return for gold. He refused and drove away. On the same day there was also a report of a suspected distraction theft from a vehicle at Sainsbury’s in Tadley.
On Wednesday, September 16, a man was seen at the Festival Place car park in Basingstoke flagging down motorists. He said he had run out of petrol and would offer gold in return for money.
Officers believe all these incidents are scams and are investigating whether they are linked in any way.
Previous scams that have been investigated have seen highly polished copper made to look like gold, which has then been offered in return for cash. Scams like this can often be connected to organised crime gangs and can target vulnerable motorists in specific areas.
What can you do? If you spot anyone acting suspiciously in this way at the roadside, please call police immediately. If possible, please take down the registration number of the vehicle.
If you suspect someone’s request for help isn’t genuine, don’t be afraid to refuse, especially if you think that person is trying to scam you, and call police immediately.
If you have been a victim and haven’t yet come forward, please contact the police as soon as possible because you may be able to help with our enquiries and trace the people doing this.
Anyone with information about these roadside scams in Hampshire or the Isle of Wight should contact police on 101 quoting 44150311783 or contact us via the website http://www.hampshire.police.uk/internet/do-it-online/online-forms/message-for-officer.html
You can also call the charity Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.
Minicom users should call 01962 875000.