Jan 16 2013 By Jack Griffith
VICTIMS of a suspected fraudster who uses a common method to con shopkeepers are being urged to break their silence and talk to police.
The man reportedly tells his targets that he has cigarettes and alcohol to sell at bargain prices, before taking their cash and making an escape.
He gains the trust of the victims, even being offered lifts in their cars before asking them to wait for their goods at a remote location, only to not return.
Police are currently dealing with ten people who have reported frauds carried out in this way in the last year.
The alleged offences happened in Ruislip, Ickenham and West Drayton, but it is also believed that he may have also conned people in surrounding areas of Harrow, Hounslow and Ealing.
The suspect is Asian, in his mid 40s, and of large build.
PC Gavin Atkins, of Ickenham Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: "Victims of this type of fraud are often too embarrassed to contact Police as they are left feeling foolish about being conned. We do not believe that all victims of this crime have come forward. I would encourage them to contact us so that these matters can be investigated and the perpetrator is brought to justice.
"This man is true confidence trickster and will convince you that parting with your money is a good opportunity. We urge people, if approached, to contact the police."
If you have been tricked in this way, or have any inforomation about the suspect, call 0208 721 2543, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.