Cops issue chilling warning on new ‘hugging scam’ as pickpockets try to cuddle victims before robbing purses


COPS have issued a chilling warning over a new “hugging scam” used by organised crime groups to steal from vulnerable OAPs.

It comes after an 88-year-old woman was pickpocketed as she got out of a taxi in Chichester, Sussex – by a woman who hugged her and said “welcome to Waitrose.”

COps believe this woman pickpocketed an OAP after hugging her outside a Waitrose
PA:Press Association

Detectives fear the scam could be linked to organised crime groups.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “The victim was hugged by the stranger, who said ‘welcome to Waitrose’, and in doing so stole the pensioner’s purse containing cash and cards.

“Investigations revealed the cards were attempted to be used at nearby Tesco Extra, in Fishbourne Road East, but the attempts were unsuccessful.”

The spokesman said that the incident happened on the afternoon of February 23 and added: “Police believe it may be linked to an organised crime group.

“It is also possible other similar incidents have occurred which have not been reported.”

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here