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UK cops issue warning to drivers after 'Irish' suspects carry out cash-for-crash scams

‘In some of the incidents the men were described as being white and both spoke with an Irish accent’

Cops have issued a warning

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

UK cops have launched a hunt for the 'Irish' suspects behind a string of alleged cash-for-crash scams in Gloucestershire.

Police have revealed that following publicity of a spate of such offences last month more cases have now been reported.

The scams involve motorists being conned into thinking they have caused damage to another car.

They are then told to hand over sums of cash to avoid expensive insurance claims.

A police spokesperson told how one victim, aged in his 70s, withdrew £600 from a cash machine after being conned into thinking he had damaged the wing mirror on the offender's car.

“Last month police received several reports that motorists had been targeted in Gloucester and Cheltenham, and a warning about the scam was issued to the public,” police said.

“Since then, more people have contacted police to say they also had been scammed. One incident happened on Thursday on Reservoir Road in Gloucester, but they did not hand over any cash.

“In the scam, motorists have been driving along the road when they have heard a loud noise from the passenger side of their vehicle.

“They have then pulled over, after being concerned they had been in a collision or something had hit their car.

“Those who did not stop immediately at the time were then followed by a motorist in a vehicle, who waved them to pull over.

“Once pulled over they were approached by either one or two men, and convinced into believing that they had damaged the offender's car wing mirror.

“They were then shown websites on a mobile phone of how much a replacement would cost. Victims then either went to a cash point to withdraw money, or would go home to hand over cash.”

Police said incidents have been reported in areas in Cheltenham including Queen's Road, Gloucester Road, London Road and Brooklyn Road. In Gloucester incidents have been reported on Reservoir Road and Grange Road.

“In some of the incidents the men were described as being white and both spoke with an Irish accent. One was aged in his mid to late 40s, of a stocky build, with short shaven hair which was greying.

“The younger male was described as being of a medium build with brown hair.

“Police are warning motorists to be vigilant to this type of 'crash for cash' scam, and to not hand over any money to fraudsters.

“Similar 'crash for cash' frauds include scammers slamming on their brakes at busy junctions and roundabouts so the driver behind cannot stop in time.

“If you feel you have been a victim, note as much information as possible about the driver, passenger, vehicle they were travelling in and circumstances of the incident.

“You can report information to police online Report fraud | Gloucestershire Constabulary or by calling 101. You can also contact Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online at Action Fraud.”

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