A warning has been issued about a Brighton con artist who has been scamming kind hearted people out of money for months by spinning sob stories about a broken down car.
Police are linking several reports from members of the public who have been approached by a woman who tells them she urgently needs money because her car has broken down.
Sometimes, Good Samaritans are told her son is waiting, sometimes that she needs to visit someone in hospital, or simply that she is stranded and needs a bus or train fare.
A picture of a woman identified as the con artist by one of her victims has been widely circulated on social media.
Today, police issued a warning after another woman was approached in Eastern Road, outside the Sussex Eye Hospital, on Christmas Eve, by a woman who claimed to be having issues with her car and asked for money to cover her bus or train fare back home.
Inspector Brian McCarthy from Brighton and Hove’s neighbourhood policing team said: “We would urge all members of the public to be cautious of anyone approaching them on the street and asking for money.
“This is the only report made to us but we believe that other people may have fallen victim to this scam. Anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of this type of crime should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101.”
Police said they were also linking this incident to two similar instances in September. On the first occasion, a woman approached a woman in Bennett Road around 5pm on Saturday (September 24) and said that she had locked her keys in her car and needed to borrow £30 to get home to Billingshurst.
She gave her name, an address and a telephone number, but has not returned the money or been contactable via the information she provided.
Then the following Monday, it is thought that the same woman was stopping people in the George Street area around 8.30am asking for money because she needed the train fare to get her sick child to hospital. She was reported by a woman who did not give her any money, but there were no other reports.
In all three cases, the woman is described as white, 25-35, of slim build, with a long slim nose.
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