Con artists target elderly people in Nailsea
PUBLISHED: 10:47 24 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:56 24 November 2016
Several elderly people have been swindled out of cash by con artists operating in Nailsea and Clevedon.
Two men, both aged 89, were approached by a stranger who conned them out of cash in two separate incidents.
The first happened outside Tower House Medical Centre, in Stock Way South, at the beginning of November when a man in a car asked for directrions to Gatwick Airport.
The man, who claimed to be Swiss, then handed the victim several cheap watches and asked for cash for petrol claiming he only had Euros.
The victim handed over £50 before realising it was a con.
On November 16, between noon and 1pm in Tesco car park in Stock Way North, a second victim was approached by a man who said he was Italian and needed directors to Dover.
He tried to sell the victim some watches and when the offer was declined he asked for money.
The victim offered to give him a small amount and went to the cash point to make a withdrawal but the suspect leaned over and withdrew £250 from the victim’s account and left.
Police believe there have been a number of other incidents which have not been reported and are warning people to be vigilant and to look after elderly relatives and neighbours.
PC Claire Tanner from Nailsea Police Station said: “Victims in cases like this often say they didn’t want to make a fuss or they are embarrassed – but I want people to make a fuss.
“If a stranger approaches you trying to sell you something or asking for cash, walk away. Find a shop assistant or someone to help you and get in touch with police. Don’t ever let a stranger come to the cash point with you or give them your card, pin number or bank details.
“This person is targeting elderly and vulnerable people and basically conning them out of, what is to the victim, a substantial amount of money.
“It’s also leaving them very upset and distressed as well as being out of pocket. I find this personally upsetting. It is inexcusable to target vulnerable people this way.
“I am appealing directly to the public to get in touch if you have any information that might help me with this case.
If you see an elderly or vulnerable person being pestered or looking distressed when you are out and about – then please stop, say hello and help them. Your presence might deter a thief or con artist.”
The suspect is described as a white man, aged 35-45, he did not have a beard, glasses or any particularly distinguishing features.
Anyone with information on the incidents, or people who have been victims to similar crimes, are asked to call the police on 101, or email PC Tanner through the website at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk quoting 5216255691.