Drivers warned over motorway petrol scam

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Police are warning motorway drivers to be aware of a potential scam involving people asking for money after they claim to have broken down on the motorway. This follows a spate of recent incidents in which people have been flagged down by drivers who claim to have run out of petrol and ask to borrow money only for them to do the same thing at another nearby junction.

Inspector Christopher Norbury, from West Yorkshire Police’s Protective Services Operations, said: ‘‘The latest incident occurred yesterday afternoon (7/12) around 3.15pm when police received calls of a man acting suspiciously at Ainley Top, Huddersfield.

‘‘The man was reported to have been flagging down motorists coming off the motorway, claiming to have run out of fuel and offering to exchange what was described as cheap jewellery for money. The driver also claimed he was from Germany but did not speak with any discernibly foreign accent.

‘‘The latest incident echoes what we have seen across the motorway network in the last few weeks involving jewellery been offered in exchange for cash after people claim to have run out of petrol or encountered some form of emergency on the hard shoulder.’’

petrol scamTwo other similar incidents were also reported to police yesterday. The first was at 10.46am on the westbound side of the M62 entry slip road at junction 28, where a man, who is believed to have been Eastern European, was flagging cars down after claiming his bank card had broken and he needed £20 to buy petrol. His car was thought be a silver coloured Skoda.

At 11.56am, police were also called to a report of a vehicle on the M62 entry slip road at junction 24 on the eastbound side, where an Asian male, who claimed he was from Germany, was seen flagging down drivers and asking to borrow money for fuel. A silver VW Passat was seen nearby on the hard shoulder.

Inspector Norbury warned drivers against stopping on the motorway: ‘‘Stopping on any part of the motorway network is extremely dangerous and our advise would be to only do this in an emergency.

‘‘The motorway network is patrolled by ourselves and officers from the Highways Agency as well as being constantly monitored via CCTV for incidents, including breakdowns.

‘‘The fact that people have stopped to help another stranded motorist shows how publicly spirited people are, which is a nice thing to see at this time of year, but our advise is not to stop and leave it to the police and our partners to deal with,’’ added Inspector Norbury.

No arrests have been made at the present time.

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