Police warning after man in Sainsbury's uniform cons customer in Barkingside car park
PUBLISHED: 18:16 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 18:22 13 June 2019
Residents should be on guard after an 82-year-old man had hundreds of pounds stolen from him in a car park scam yesterday.
After shopping in Sainsbury's, Barkingside, on Wednesday, June 12, the retired doctor was approached by a man in branded uniform who asked if he had paid for his parking as there was a new scheme in operation.
When the pensioner said he did not have a ticket, the fake employee with the name tag "Leo" offered to help and ushered him to a machine on Tanners Lane.
"He said Sainsbury's were now using private car parking and if I paid £1.10 in the machine outside, I wouldn't get a fine sent to me in the post as he could use the ticket to counteract it," the victim said.
"I put in my card into the machine but it did not come out.
"He told me to use another card to dislodge and like an idiot I did."
After that card got "sucked into the machine" as well, the scammer then told the retired grandfather of three that he would get his manager to open it up and retrieve his debit cards.
Feeling like something wasn't quite right the retiree decided to cancel his cards - which was fortunate considering that the scammer didn't go and get a manager but went to the high street ATM to withdraw £800.
"When I went into the bank to sort it all out they said they had dealt with the same scam earlier in the morning but the person was targeted in Tesco, Barkingside car park instead," he added.
"I feel both angry and stupid about it all.
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"I should have been intelligent enough to know it was a scam from the beginning."
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), run by the City of London Police, confirms it is investigating the incident.
The scammer was described as in his 30s, Asian with good English.
A police spokesman said: "Anybody requesting payment from members of the public for parking should have identification which should be on display and include a telephone number for you to call to verify who they are.
"If you are in doubt, don't pay, walk away."
A Sainsbury's spokesman said: "Parking at our Barkingside store is free, with a maximum stay of 90 minutes.
"We're looking into this and will support the police with any investigation."
Residents who are a victim of a scam can report the crime via the action fraud website.
An Action Fraud spokesman said: " Victims can now track the status of and update their report via the new website by inputting their unique NFRC number.
"They can now also see whether a report has been sent to a police force for investigation or if it's still under review."