Motorists fall victim to 'stranded' M4 fraudster in string of elaborate stings

Swindon Advertiser: Motorists have fallen victim to a fraudster operating between junctions 19 and 15 of the M4 Motorists have fallen victim to a fraudster operating between junctions 19 and 15 of the M4

POLICE investigating reports of an elaborate fraud along the M4 corridor are keen to hear from people who may have been targeted.

Good Samaritans who stopped for a lone man posing as a stranded motorist have fallen victim to the fraud. The man carries a green fuel can and is believed to stand on various slip roads between junction 19 of the M4 (M32 junction) and junction 15 (A419 Swindon turnoff).

Claiming his vehicle has broken down elsewhere due to running out of fuel he asks motorists for a lift to the nearest service station, primarily Leigh Delemere or Membury.

En route he claims to take a call from the Highways Agency or police who require his car to be moved at a cost of around £800. Those giving him a lift have then offered to help out towards the cost. Once dropped at the services they never hear from him again.

To date it is believed the offender has been able to acquire hundreds of pounds from victims.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have been targeted in similar circumstances or who has any information about these incidents.

A 44-year-old man from Bristol was arrested in connection with these incidents and is currently on police bail pending further enquiries.

People with information are asked to contact Detective Sergeant Chris Feerick at the Local Crime Team (LCT) in Melksham on 101. Alternatively people can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously if they wish.

Comments (9)

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4:15pm Tue 4 Feb 14

stfcdod says...

Very appropriate picture to go with this item. Is there a fraudster in each of the vehicles shown?.
Very appropriate picture to go with this item. Is there a fraudster in each of the vehicles shown?. stfcdod

4:19pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Robin1986 says...

If youre stupid enough to give a complete stranger money, then you deserve to lose it! Can't believe how dumb some people are!!!
If youre stupid enough to give a complete stranger money, then you deserve to lose it! Can't believe how dumb some people are!!! Robin1986

4:30pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Chowmai says...

There really needs to be a law against stupid people!
There really needs to be a law against stupid people! Chowmai

4:49pm Tue 4 Feb 14

ChannelX says...

Chowmai wrote:
There really needs to be a law against stupid people!
And those who advocate handing out money, especially other people's money, to every sob story going.
[quote][p][bold]Chowmai[/bold] wrote: There really needs to be a law against stupid people![/p][/quote]And those who advocate handing out money, especially other people's money, to every sob story going. ChannelX

6:16pm Tue 4 Feb 14

AdderB says...

Sounds like Swindons cry baby all over again.........
Sounds like Swindons cry baby all over again......... AdderB

8:46pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Ellofolks says...

I thought it was illegal to run out of fuel on a Motorway. In essence your aiding a criminal. Then to boot you give them some cash.
I thought it was illegal to run out of fuel on a Motorway. In essence your aiding a criminal. Then to boot you give them some cash. Ellofolks

9:09am Wed 5 Feb 14

benzss says...

Ellofolks wrote:
I thought it was illegal to run out of fuel on a Motorway. In essence your aiding a criminal. Then to boot you give them some cash.
It's not illegal
[quote][p][bold]Ellofolks[/bold] wrote: I thought it was illegal to run out of fuel on a Motorway. In essence your aiding a criminal. Then to boot you give them some cash.[/p][/quote]It's not illegal benzss

12:31pm Wed 5 Feb 14

The Real Librarian says...

benzss wrote:
Ellofolks wrote: I thought it was illegal to run out of fuel on a Motorway. In essence your aiding a criminal. Then to boot you give them some cash.
It's not illegal
It is an offence to set out for a motorway journey in a vehicle which you know or suspect may be unfit for that journey and may break down.
[quote][p][bold]benzss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ellofolks[/bold] wrote: I thought it was illegal to run out of fuel on a Motorway. In essence your aiding a criminal. Then to boot you give them some cash.[/p][/quote]It's not illegal[/p][/quote]It is an offence to set out for a motorway journey in a vehicle which you know or suspect may be unfit for that journey and may break down. The Real Librarian

1:09pm Thu 6 Feb 14

benzss says...

The Real Librarian wrote:
benzss wrote:
Ellofolks wrote: I thought it was illegal to run out of fuel on a Motorway. In essence your aiding a criminal. Then to boot you give them some cash.
It's not illegal
It is an offence to set out for a motorway journey in a vehicle which you know or suspect may be unfit for that journey and may break down.
It isn't. Nothing specific prohibits running out of fuel on a motorway. Although it *may* be an offence to run out of fuel in a tunnel if it was deemed avoidable.
[quote][p][bold]The Real Librarian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]benzss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ellofolks[/bold] wrote: I thought it was illegal to run out of fuel on a Motorway. In essence your aiding a criminal. Then to boot you give them some cash.[/p][/quote]It's not illegal[/p][/quote]It is an offence to set out for a motorway journey in a vehicle which you know or suspect may be unfit for that journey and may break down.[/p][/quote]It isn't. Nothing specific prohibits running out of fuel on a motorway. Although it *may* be an offence to run out of fuel in a tunnel if it was deemed avoidable. benzss

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