Scamwatch: roadside jewellery fraud

Scamwatch: roadside jewellery fraud
Scamwatch: roadside jewellery fraud

Stay one step ahead of the fraudsters with our series of articles giving you the lowdown on the scams they use to trick people out of their hard-earned cash - and how to avoid being taken in by them.

This week, we issue a warning after reports of potential fraudsters trying to persuade motorway drivers to give them money for fuel in exchange for jewellery.

How does it work?

Motorway drivers are thought to be being targeted by fraudsters who pretend to be broken down and ask anyone who stops to buy their jewellery so they can pay for fuel.

The so-called "cash-for-gold" jewellery scam hit the headlines after a man was allegedly offered a ring in exchange for £50 on a motorway hard shoulder.

Footage of a motorist parked at the side of the road was captured by a YouTube user earlier this month.

The YouTube user claims he nearly fell for the scam when he exited the M25 before heading onto the M4 at Heathrow, but realised the man in the parked car was suspicious when he demanded money in exchange for the jewellery.

"Beware of the petrol and rings roadside scam," he said.

How can I avoid being caught out?

It is always dangerous to stop to try to help people stuck at the side of the motorway due to the high speed of the vehicles passing by.

That's why The AA advises drivers who break down on a motorway to exit their car using the left-hand side doors and move up the bank or behind the barrier while they wait for help to arrive.

If you see someone stuck at the side of the road, you should therefore leave rescuing them to the experts rather than putting yourself - and perhaps the person or people stuck - at risk.

Doing so is also the simplest way to avoid being taken in by this scam.

I've been defrauded. What should I do?

Suspicious behaviour of this kind should be reported to the police. You can do this by contacting Action Fraud (0300 123 2040).