There has been a series of frauds committed in the St Albans area over recent weeks, always using precisely the same method.

The offender targets church members, approaching people at or outside churches or church halls & appearing upset and frantic for help. He tells them that his mother has died that morning on the island of Jersey and that he is in desperate need of funds to get out there to identify the body and bring her home.

He explains that his mother was a member of their church and lived locally until recently.

He quotes the details of several of the church’s local ministers to add validity to his story but these people happen to be on holiday at the time so it appears that he has done some preparatory research.

He quotes information about churches which is quite accurate.

It is possible he may call on homes as well.

He is EXTREMELY plausible, cries when recalling his mother, gives his name as ‘John Williams’ and passes a mobile phone number when asked. He will even quote addresses that are local. Please do contact the Police on 999 immediately if he approaches you with this story. He is described as follows: White Male aged 30-35 years 5’4” to 5’8” tall with a slim build, fair hair cut about ear length. Last seen wearing a blue hoody with white writing and dark jeans. Anyone who has any information regarding this man can call the Police non emergency number on 101 – Northants Police reference NP/23988/12