Police warn over roadside ‘gold for petrol cash’ con

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Police have warned of a scam in which a criminal pretends to have run out of fuel at the roadside and offers people ‘gold’ jewellery in return for petrol money.

A woman fell victim to the con after she was flagged down by a man on the A46 near Melton last week. She gave him £40 - though he asked for £100.

The jewellery he offers in exchange for petrol money is cheap metal which has been painted gold. Believing the man’s story, the victim gave him £40 after he threw items of ‘gold’ jewellery into her car. It turned out to be fake.

The man, said to be of southern European appearance, had a business card which officers believe he carried to try to lend credibility to his story.

Pc Chris Perry, of Melton police, said: “This scam has been mostly occurring on roads out of Melton but it’s a national problem. These people can pop up anywhere. I’d encourage people not to stop, but if someone wants to be a good Samaritan I’d urge them to think very carefully about handing over money. If they’re offered gold jewellery in exchange for cash they shouldn’t expect it to be genuine.”