Stevenage man conned in A1(M) fraud
- Credit: Archant
A MAN who was conned out of cash after being flagged down on the A1(M) has decided to share his story in a bid to stop others falling into the same trap.
A Stevenage resident, who has asked to remain anonymous, was driving up the northbound sliproad at Junction 8 for Stevenage when he was flagged down by a driver of a silver Honda which was parked on the hard shoulder.
The Honda driver, who said he was a German businessman and spoke in a foreign accent, told the 60-year-old victim that his brother was in hospital in Manchester and he needed money to get there as he’d run out of petrol.
He said his credit card wasn’t working and he was desperate, offering what he described as gold jewellery to the Stevenage man if he loaned him cash.
The fraudster, who was accompanied by a woman said to be his wife, gave the victim two rings and a number to call to arrange their return in exchange for £40, having initially asked for £100.
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The victim called the number afterwards only to realise it was a fake, and had the rings examined at a jewellers in Stevenage Old Town which said they were brass and inexpensive.
Speaking about the experience, the victim, who lives in York Road, said: “I was flagged down by a gentleman standing by a silver Honda so I pulled over thinking he was in trouble. I thought he had broken down.
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“He was saying he had a problem and didn’t have enough money for petrol to get to Manchester. He dropped to his knees and was begging me for help.
“He told me his credit card didn’t work because it was broken. I asked him if he had his credit card and looked at it. It had a crack along the black strip – at that point I believed him.
“He started offering me gold jewellery if I loaned him some money but I just wanted to help.”
The victim said the man was about 5ft 8in tall and of a stocky build. He had black hair and was clean shaven.
The incident occurred at about 10am on March 23, with the victim later visiting Stevenage Police Station to explain what had happened although he said it was not recorded.
He added: “It’s a shame that the police did not take a record of the details because this could happen again. My guess is he’s done this lots of time by the way he told his story to me.
“I haven’t got £40 to throw away but I’m not distraught about it, I just want to warn the public so they don’t fall into the same trap as I did. I wish I had taken the registration of his car as that would’ve made a difference.”
Hertfordshire Constabulary is now investigating the incident as a fraud after the Comet raised the issue on the victim’s behalf.
A spokesman said: “The advice we are giving to people is to never stop on a hard shoulder or the motorway in general unless you are informed to do so by a uniformed police officer. If you see anyone acting suspiciously call the police.”