De Beauvoir scammer dupes victims out of cash
Confidence trickster claims to know your neighbours
De Beauvoir residents are warning people to be vigilant, after a con-artist duped several unwitting victims out of cash last week.
Susan Edmunds was the first to be conned out of �60 in the scam, after a man with a French accent in his 20s, knocked on her door in De Beauvoir Road.
The sneaky trickster claimed to be the cousin of her neighbour Ginny – who he claimed was at the pub – but that he desperately needed money to pay for a taxi.
Because he knew her neighbour’s name and offered to exchange the �60 for Euros, Mrs Edmunds handed over her two-year old son’s birthday money, and generously said he could pay her back the next day.
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She realised she’d been the victim of a scam when her neighbour the next door down came round the next day, and asked if her brother had paid for the taxi.
Mrs Edmunds realised the confidence trickster had knocked on her door too, claiming to be her brother and that her neighbour had handed over �25.
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It emerged he had also done the same thing to the resident of the next house along too – but this time she had accepted the Euro exchange, so had just about broken even.
“All these people were going around thinking I’ve got an awful brother who hadn’t paid them back,” joked Mrs Edmunds.
“He looked like a normal bloke, not your average mugger, and not the kind of person you would think would be doing that for a poxy 60 quid.
“I think he got the name out of the recycling bin, and that’s what gave him credibility, plus he offered Euros so I thought he was genuine.
“I felt angry and stupid, but I wouldn’t like to think that I wouldn’t help anyone in need again - I would rather get ripped off by one guy than never help anyone. “However I will be getting a chain so that I think twice before I open the door,” she added.
At least four residents were tricked and a police spokeswoman said the Safer Neighbourhoods Team were aware of the issue “anecdotally.”
“We would like to encourage any victims of the scam to come forward and call 0300 123 1212 so that police can investigate the allegations,” she said.
Information about how to avoid being a victim of fraud can be found at http://www.met.police.uk/fraudalert/