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Police are warning drivers about a series of scams on roadsides around Hampshire.
Between October 1, 2012, and February 16, 2013, Hampshire Police received 65 reports of such incidents on highways across the county.
The scammers generally operate in lay-bys on main routes and junctions, especially the M3, M27 and A303.
They attempt to flag down motorists, often claiming they are out of fuel. They state 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 of cash vary from £10 up to £200 on one occasion.
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.”
What can you do? Police say:
* 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 police 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 or 999 if you suspect a crime is in progress.
These are the roads where they have targetted drivers:
B3420 WINCHESTER 1
SOUTHWOOD ROAD FARNBOROUGH 1
A287 NORTH WARNBOROUGH 3
A287 ODIHAM 1
A30 SUTTON SCOTNEY 1
A30 YATELEY 1
A303 DUMMER, BASINGSTOKE 1
A303 SUTTON SCOTNEY 1
A3057 STOCKBRIDGE 1
A3093 PICKET TWENTY, ANDOVER 1
A34 KINGS WORTHY, 1
A34 LITCHFIELD, WHITCHURCH 1
A35 Ashhurst, NH05 1
B2070 BURITON, PETERSFIELD 1
B3349 SOUTH WARNBOROUGH 1
BLACKDAM ROUNDABOUT, A30 BASINGSTOKE 1
BROUGHTON ROAD CHATTIS HILL, STOCKBRIDGE 1
BULLINGTON LANE SUTTON SCOTNEY 2
DUKES ROAD GOSPORT 1
HEADLEY ROAD HINDHEAD 1
HOGS BACK SEALE 1
HOOK ROAD NORTH WARNBOROUGH 1
J10 M3 Chilcomb 1
J12B, M3 OTTERBOURNE 1
J9A, M27 FAREHAM 1
M27 HEDGE END 1
M27 PARK GATE 1
M27 SEGENSWORTH 1
M3 BASINGSTOKE, (J6) 3
M3 Chilcomb 1
M3 Chilworth 1
M3 FARNBOROUGH 4
M3 HOOK 1
M3 HOOK COMMON 1
M3 KEMPSHOTT 1
M3 OLD BASING 1
M3 OTTERBOURNE 1
M3 SOUTHAMPTON 1
M3 WINCHESTER 1