Beware of cigarette conman, warn Southend cops

Beware of cigarette conman, warn cops

Beware of cigarette conman, warn cops

First published in News by

SOUTHEND smokers are being targeted by a con-artist who promises to sell cigarettes on the cheap, but then runs off with their cash.

The man has taken up to £50 a time from people hoping to get a deal, but never returns with their products.

Police are warning residents not to fall for the con which they said preys on the vulnerable.

PC Javier Rodriguez-Perez said: “A lot of people who buy cigarettes might not have a lot of cash anyway, so buying them on the cheap and then being conned is a big deal.

“Residents need a fighting chance to recognise this is a scam.”

On some occasions the man, who meets his victims in the town centre, has even convinced his victims to let him into their cars to drive to a cash machine.

He builds trust by striking conversation about how he apparently did some building or maintenance work for them or their relatives and asks if they still smoke the same brand of cigarettes, having watched what they are smoking earlier.

PC Rodriguez-Perez added: “Over the last few weeks there has been a dramatic increase in people approached by this man.

“They need to make sure if they are approached by him they gently decline his offer and contact police about it.

“On one occasion he met the female victim in the High Street and went with her in the vehicle to a BP garage away from town.

There are so many banks in the town centre he’s obviously being cunning to avoid suspicions from other people.

“There was a spate of this last year. There will be more people who have been approached on a day to day basis and more who have been victims and haven’t called police because they feel silly about it.”

The man is described as a slim white male with very short cropped hair, or might be bald.

Anyone with information or if they have been a victim

Comments (14)

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5:10pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Howard Cháse says...

Watch out for his mates selling incredibly cheap iPads and X Boxes etc out of mysteriously open previously empty shops too.....
Watch out for his mates selling incredibly cheap iPads and X Boxes etc out of mysteriously open previously empty shops too..... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 11

5:57pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

smokers looking to avoid duty.
smokers looking to avoid duty. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 8

5:57pm Wed 13 Aug 14

the25man says...

It pays not to smoke
It pays not to smoke the25man
  • Score: 6

6:05pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Verdislee says...

Served them right for being so stupid. Who gives money to a stranger before getting the goods?
Served them right for being so stupid. Who gives money to a stranger before getting the goods? Verdislee
  • Score: 12

6:48pm Wed 13 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Verdislee wrote:
Served them right for being so stupid. Who gives money to a stranger before getting the goods?
Most of Southend and every other town, it called council tax...
[quote][p][bold]Verdislee[/bold] wrote: Served them right for being so stupid. Who gives money to a stranger before getting the goods?[/p][/quote]Most of Southend and every other town, it called council tax... sesibollox
  • Score: 10

7:09pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Howard Cháse says...

the25man wrote:
It pays not to smoke
How much?
[quote][p][bold]the25man[/bold] wrote: It pays not to smoke[/p][/quote]How much? Howard Cháse
  • Score: 3

7:52pm Wed 13 Aug 14

supermadmax says...

"PC Javier Rodriguez-Perez said: “A lot of people who buy cigarettes might not have a lot of cash anyway"

Stereotyping there Javier why don't you do1 and have a siesta before you go murder a bull.
"PC Javier Rodriguez-Perez said: “A lot of people who buy cigarettes might not have a lot of cash anyway" Stereotyping there Javier why don't you do1 and have a siesta before you go murder a bull. supermadmax
  • Score: 3

8:10pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

Howard Cháse wrote:
the25man wrote:
It pays not to smoke
How much?
up to £50 a pop.
[quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the25man[/bold] wrote: It pays not to smoke[/p][/quote]How much?[/p][/quote]up to £50 a pop. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 1

9:38pm Wed 13 Aug 14

wobblybob says...

A lot of the 'smuggled from Europe' fags on sale in Essex are actually fakes from China & are much deadlier than the legitimate product. Play safe, pay the duty & keep your local shops in business. Report fakes from whatever source & stick it to these Chinese gangs who are trying to kill us!
A lot of the 'smuggled from Europe' fags on sale in Essex are actually fakes from China & are much deadlier than the legitimate product. Play safe, pay the duty & keep your local shops in business. Report fakes from whatever source & stick it to these Chinese gangs who are trying to kill us! wobblybob
  • Score: 6

10:08pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

wobblybob wrote:
A lot of the 'smuggled from Europe' fags on sale in Essex are actually fakes from China & are much deadlier than the legitimate product. Play safe, pay the duty & keep your local shops in business. Report fakes from whatever source & stick it to these Chinese gangs who are trying to kill us!
its a conspiracy
[quote][p][bold]wobblybob[/bold] wrote: A lot of the 'smuggled from Europe' fags on sale in Essex are actually fakes from China & are much deadlier than the legitimate product. Play safe, pay the duty & keep your local shops in business. Report fakes from whatever source & stick it to these Chinese gangs who are trying to kill us![/p][/quote]its a conspiracy Robin Reliant
  • Score: -1

11:33pm Wed 13 Aug 14

andyman1971 says...

If its too good to be true it's probably a con! That's my philosophy in life.
If its too good to be true it's probably a con! That's my philosophy in life. andyman1971
  • Score: 2

8:16am Thu 14 Aug 14

pembury53 says...

supermadmax wrote:
"PC Javier Rodriguez-Perez said: “A lot of people who buy cigarettes might not have a lot of cash anyway"

Stereotyping there Javier why don't you do1 and have a siesta before you go murder a bull.
well spotted, exactly what I thought as I read it.....
[quote][p][bold]supermadmax[/bold] wrote: "PC Javier Rodriguez-Perez said: “A lot of people who buy cigarettes might not have a lot of cash anyway" Stereotyping there Javier why don't you do1 and have a siesta before you go murder a bull.[/p][/quote]well spotted, exactly what I thought as I read it..... pembury53
  • Score: -1

10:55am Thu 14 Aug 14

stopmoaning1 says...

I'm confused.
If you commit an offence yourself buy agreeing to buy what are clearly 'knock off' or 'UK duty not paid' goods, how can you be a 'Victim' when the seller runs off with your cash?
I'm confused. If you commit an offence yourself buy agreeing to buy what are clearly 'knock off' or 'UK duty not paid' goods, how can you be a 'Victim' when the seller runs off with your cash? stopmoaning1
  • Score: 4

8:06pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Now listen for I have something to say says...

Filthy smelly disgusting habit, smokers need to be banned
Filthy smelly disgusting habit, smokers need to be banned Now listen for I have something to say
  • Score: -1

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