Drivers targeted in fake jewellery scam

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Drivers in the district have been targeted by a scam which has seen them conned into exchanging fake jewellery for money.

Police are now warning people to be on the look-out for a group of men reported to have flagged down cars under the pretence that they have broken down.

The group has told unsuspecting drivers they have run out of petrol and have no money on them to buy more – they then offer to exchange ‘gold’ jewellery for cash.

Daventry-based gold buyer Paul Kempsell said: “I have had around eight people come into my shop in the last three months hoping to sell this kind of jewellery. Most look surprised and disappointed when I tell them it’s fake.”

Mr Kempsell said heavy gents rings were the most common kind of fake jewellery, some have been stamped with a Mercedes style badge and are hall marked as 14 carat gold. He said: “I can see why people might think it’s a good trade off because the rings are big and if they were gold they would be worth up to £120.

“In reality though they are plated steal or brass and are worthless and you would need a trained eye to know that.”

He added: “For eight people to come in with fake jewellery in this short space of time is unusually high and that’s just in my shop, there could be more being taken to one of the other four gold shops in town.”

Incidents of the scam have been reported across the county with recent locations including London Road, Braunston, the A14 at Welford, Rothersthorpe Road, Kislingbury and High Street, Weedon.

A police spokesman said: “We are unsure whether this is one group or several groups operating this scam.

“We would urge motorists who find themselves approached to refuse any offers of jewellery, to take in as much information about the offenders as possible and to contact us on 101.”