Connecticut State Police warn of service area scams

- FILE - Connecticut State Police Cruiser (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — Connecticut State Police are warning travelers about a scam taking place at service areas along the state’s highways.

Police say they have received several reports of strangers approaching travelers at rest areas and asking for money, claiming they left their wallets at home and need cash for gas.

Josue Ortiz says he’s experienced it first hand.

“I got to get somewhere, do you have five bucks for gas stuff like that. And sometimes I give it to them and you see him sneaking away and you’re like oh alright you’ve been lying to me,” said Ortiz.

The scam has been reported at rest stops along Interstates 95 and 84 and the Wilbur Cross/Merritt Parkway.

Police are telling people to simply ignore the requests, and if they feel threatened by someone asking for money, to call 911.

Troopers say people are particularly vulnerable to these kinds of scams during the holiday season, because of the many legitimate charities collecting money, gift cards, toys, and food for those in need.

One of the biggest reasons not to give out money state police say, is because once you open your wallet or pocketbook, you’re opening yourself up to snatch and grab.

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