Police warning over 'broken-down' car scam in South Yorkshire

A good Samaritan was conned by cruel fraudsters in South Yorkshire who pretended their car had broken down, in a ruse to get her money.

Thursday, 1st March 2018, 1:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st March 2018, 1:55 pm
Police urged people never to give a stranger their bank details or personal information

Police today warned people to be alert to the scam, and offered advice to stop more victims falling prey.

Officers said the 37-year-old woman's ordeal began when she pulled over to help what she thought was a stricken vehicle on Worksop Road, in Rotherham, on Monday afternoon, shortly after 1pm.

A young man Dubai was standing beside the white Peugeot in apparent distress, with an older man and a woman claiming to be the younger man's wife sitting inside.

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The younger man, who said he was from Dubai, reportedly asked the victim for money to help the group travel to Edinburgh. He offered to transfer money online to pay her back if she would give them cash.

Detective Constable Janine Broughton said: "Feeling a certain amount of pressure and afraid to refuse, our victim was coerced into driving this younger man to the Morrison’s supermarket in Bramley, where she withdrew cash.

"The man also asked her for her bank account details, stating he would pay her back the next day. This money was not paid back and we believe this was potentially an attempt to extract bank information so further cash could be withdrawn at a later date.

“This is incredibly concerning behaviour with a very specific ruse and I'd urge anyone who may hold information about this man or may have been subject to a similar approach to get in touch with police.

"The car that was 'broken down' was actually in working order and once the young man was inside our victim’s car, the older man drove that car behind her vehicle to the cashpoint. This must have only added to the woman’s fear.

"An investigation is ongoing to identify those involved in this incident but we want to remind the public never to give a stranger bank account information or personal details. Keep your information secure and private to prevent possible fraudulent access."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting the incident number 483 of February 26. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.