Criminals turn to scamming
Craig falls victim to the nastiest classic crime yet
Victims of classic car theft are being warned to be extra-vigilant as a result of a new scam in which criminals are asking for money from owners by claiming to know where their stolen cars are.
The new scam came to light after PC contributor Craig Cheetham had both his Rover R8 and Volvo 760 Turbo stolen over the weekend of November 21-22, 2020, in a targeted crime that had seen the CCTV cameras they were parked next to vandalised a few days earlier.
Craig’s appeal to find the Rover and Volvo was shared more than 2000 times on social media, which led to him receiving a message on Instagram from a scammer. The individual claimed to know the location of the cars, but would only divulge their location in return for a payment of £600. The fraudster even used images of both cars harvested from the internet, claiming that they were photos of the cars where they were now.
‘It’s devastating enough to have you cars stolen, let alone then become a victim of extortion,’ said Craig. ‘Luckily, I was savvy enough to realise that this was a scam and was able to gather information about the fraudster and pass it to the cybercrime unit at Cambridgeshire Police.
‘What concerns me most, though, is that there are people more vulnerable than me who may well be suckered into such a scam, especially when you consider the emotional bond that we have with our cars; most of us would do almost anything to get them back. This is a cruel attempt to cause even more misery for people who have already been the victim of a crime.’ Sadly, Craig’s red Rover 214 Si (G899 UYP) and blue Volvo 760 Turbo estate (F723 FEC) have yet to be found. Anyone with any information should contact the police non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number 35/79688/20 with Cambridgeshire Police.