Con man on S and W

Ian and Irene Jameison on Free Spirit recently fell victim to a scam that caught us some years ago. Jason Barker is a young(ish) man who approaches people on the Staffs and Worcs, usually between Kidderminster and Stourport.

You'll first see him ride past on his motor scooter. A bit later he comes back and asks if you've seen his brother fishing nearby. When you say no (as you will, because he's not there, if he even exists) Jason will tell you a sob story about having lost his money somehow. Either his benefits giro hasn't come, or his bag's been stolen, or... You get the idea.

He's desperate because he needs to collect his children from school/visit his sick or dying father somewhere or something else equally important. If he could please just borrow £10, he'll pay it back tomorrow before 10 am, without fail. Meantime, you can have his name and address, the registration number of his bike, whatever you want.

It all sounds very obvious, but he is extremely plausible, and the money involved isn't very much.

Needless to say, if you do give him some money, you'll never see him again.

He's the subject of a court order prohibiting him from soliciting money from members of the public, and of an ASBO.

If he approaches you, don't give him anything, and call West Mercia Police on 0300 333 3000.