A kind-hearted businessman was scammed in Blackmoorfoot Road by a man claiming to be desperate to get to Scotland.
Now Gary Tyne from New Mill has warned others about the con after it emerged the trickster had tried it elsewhere in Huddersfield ... and also in both Germany and the Czech Republic.
It began as the 48-year-old was driving up Blackmoorfoot Road in Crosland Moor at about noon on Friday and spotted the man trying to flag down traffic in a bus layby close to the site of the former St Luke’s Hospital.
Gary said: “The man looked upset and distressed so I pulled in just ahead of him and wound the window down a few inches. He came up to the car and said he was driving to Glasgow but had run out of fuel.
“He said he had no cash and his credit cards had been stolen.”
Gary was thinking about offering to take him to a petrol station when the man gave him his business card and also took two gold rings off his fingers which he passed to Gary through the window in exchange for money to help him on his way.
Gary said: “That was the clincher, really. These rings looked really expensive and one of them had a diamond so I thought he must be really desperate.”
Gary didn’t have £50 but gave him £20 to help him on his way and also gave him his rings.
He drove past the same spot about 40 minutes later and the man had driven off in his silver grey Renault Clio.
Gary said: “At first I felt quite pleased and when I got back into the office used the email on his business card to email him to say I hoped he had got to Glasgow all right, but then the email bounced back.”
With some more digging Gary discovered the same con artist had used the trick at service stations in Germany and the Czech Republic, that time asking for 100 Euros.
Gary checked out the other details on the card and discovered they did not exist. He then contacted police to say he had been scammed.
Gary is an engineering consultant used to travelling overseas to places such as India and the Middle East where he’s always on alert for possible scams.
He added: “It’s really galling to have ended up being scammed on my own doorstep, so to speak.”
The con artist is of Asian descent, in his late 50s, 5ft 5ins, short and stocky. He was well dressed in a suit and trilby hat.
“He certainly looked the part,” added Gary. “It was an Oscar-winning performance but I would still stop if I saw someone in distress yet would be very cautious of anyone asking for money.”