We have received reports from other London boroughs of vulnerable people being targeted by a ‘well-dressed and spoken individual of Middle Eastern origin’ presenting himself as a concerned member of public and encouraging people or assisting them when paying to park.
Approaches have included advising someone how to pay for their parking ticket via a machine to prevent it escalating in price quickly, to advising them on how to pay as the machine was ‘playing up’ for him. In doing so he has observed the victim when entering their PIN number and then distracted them, taking their card as it is returned from the machine and stating that it must have been swallowed.
Within minutes the cards have been used to purchase expensive goods and/or withdraw large sums of money. So far, we are aware of six cases in both Hyde and Regents Park, two in Camden and one in Waltham Forest.
If you have any information that could be helpful to police, phone 101, and if you see a scam in progress, phone 999. Please email our Parking team to make them aware too: firstname.lastname@example.org