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.”
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.
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“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.”
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