This summer, before the big exodus over the July holidays, several gendarmeries, including in Haute-Marne, are warning against the return of “Irish corruption”. A scam in car parks and rest areas aimed at extorting money from motorists on the holiday highway. Our advice is to avoid it. (Article originally published in 2020).
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All precautions should be taken on this first big weekend away from the holidays, with the gendarmerie warning road users about the safety of those traveling on wheels and also drawing attention to the scams they fall victim to. There is a name that sounds straight out of a detective film, although it is nothing more than fiction, it is “Irish Scandal”. For criminals, pleading sympathy for others is a technique that can save them hundreds of euros.
The technique is simple but effective, (fake) tourists, dressed perfectly, speaking perfect English, under the guise of a broken-down car, or a victim of theft, will do anything to extort hundreds of dollars. Euro from you. ” Don’t worry we will refund you, here are our contact details“, is the standard word these scammers use to trick you into falling for it, but of course you’ll never see them.
A well-established way of doing things is often to put victims at ease, couples or couples with children, who may seem the friendliest but can manipulate victims into learned ways of approaching you.
After introducing themselves to you, the criminals use all means to prove their good faith, terribly, with visible shock, they explain to you that their family was the victim of theft from the car, the window was broken, the papers were missing. A photo of a support vehicle (probably not theirs) makes the story seem plausible at first glance.
Claiming to be English and not knowing how to do it, they ask you to send hundreds of Euros back home, promising to send the amount back to you as soon as they return. Everything seems honest to you, the “perfect” couple or family, the people who look distressed, the license plate in the photo, all come together to give you confidence.
A policeman in the Champagne-Ardenne region, who does not want his name to appear, confirms this to us: the practice increases during the holidays. ” Criminals take advantage of the influx of holidaymakers because car parks in motorway service areas are overcrowded. They cheat by saying that they are in the street at the end. They want money. It depends on the chance of the heroes. They will settle down and try. This is reminiscent of the bitumen scandal. The principle is the same, attract the target. We recently had a case where a criminal drove a BMW coupe. A big luxury car that comforts.
These scams have been around for a long time and are concentrated in identified Irish communities. ” They have a whole village in Ireland, The policeman confirms . But to unpack them, you need to look at flagrante delicto. They play on people’s vulnerabilities. They find profiles. They are opportunists. If you pay attention, they know they can tear themselves apart.”
Some motorists are warning on Twitter. #Highway A6: aattention Irish corruption In the A6 motorway service area. An English boy comes to ask for money.
First, don’t lend money to unknown people at a rest stop, especially if the amounts requested are large and you may never see them again. The second piece of advice is undeniable, call the police, contact the gendarmerie, if these people are malicious, they will unmask, if they are in good faith, the gendarmes will be in the best position to help them.
“We are defensive Terminate the soldier. You have a free spirit on vacation, and once you’re tricked, it’s too late. So we inform. We advise extreme caution to be polite and refuse any kind of exchange with them. These people will walk you around. People present well. It’s not Pecnose. They have big cars. There are no defined areas.” So be careful not to get caught.
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