Police warning after fraudsters dupe Kilburn shoppers into buying fizzy drinks instead of iPhones
PUBLISHED: 15:25 19 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:00 19 February 2016
Police in Kilburn have issued a warning after unsuspecting shoppers reported being duped into buying 'iPhones and tablets' for hundreds of pounds only to find bottles of fizzy drink.
The warning comes after a number of victims reported being approached by fraudsters operating in Kilburn High Road in the last two weeks.
The scammers, who are thought to work in a gang, lure their victims into cars before handing them boxes supposedly containing “bargain of the century” second-hand electronic goods such as iPhones, tablets and laptop computers.
The victims then head home to open their cut-price purchase to find the box is filled with bottles of fizzy pop mimicking the exact weight of the goods they thought they were buying.
Officers have warned shoppers to be wary of deals that are “too good to be true” after a number of similar cases of victims being scammed out of up to £300 for the goods.
PC Tom Surr, neighbourhood police officer for Kilburn told the Times: “The general mantra should be if people approach you with an offer that’s too good to be true, then it probably is.
“If someone approaches you trying to sell you phones or tablets for cheaper than elsewhere, they are potentially a scammer.
“In the last few reports, victims have been invited to go round the corner or sit in a car to buy phones where they are then offered bundle deals at low prices and shown a sample which are put into a bag after they hand over their cash.
“They are offered all three devices for around £300 so people think they have come across the bargain of the century.
“When they get to home or to the pub and open the bag, they realize a swap has been made and their cardboard boxes are filled with two or three bottles of soft drink or water.”
PC Surr said reports suggest the scam is being carried out by a number of people using the same methods and operating in the same area.
He added “immediate” action from members of the public to report suspicious offers would assist them in cracking down on the number of reported cases of “fraud by false representation”.
“We have seen time and time again when fraudsters get hold of a scam that works they will do it until people get wise to it then they move onto something else- if they’re not caught first.”
Anyone who wishes to report suspicious activities can contact Kilburn police on 0208 7333 793 or via the police non-emergency line on 101.