Polish families are being targeted by bogus advertisements and conned into paying to travel to Sussex for farming jobs that simply to not exist.
Eastern Europeans are being conned into commencing a new life in Bognor Regis with the false promise of a guaranteed job and living accomodation.
However in reality, these cruel conmen are fleecing the honest workers out of £120 for jobs that simply do not exist and then leaving them to live in overcrowded shared homes.
The workers are told to wait for the firms to contact them and have been left waiting for up to two weeks.
Others have attempted to contact the employers who know nothing about the advertised jobs.
Last year Sussex Police had only one or two reports of this scam however officers have already received three separate reports in the past week as recruitment for the picking season begins.
In one occurrence a whole family of brothers and sisters were lured with the promise of work, only to be dumped in an overcrowded shared house with no jobs.
Police ffficers stated it is not clear if the scam organisers had another plan in mind for the immigrants. Sussex Police has been liaising with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority on the issue.
It is advising Eastern Europeans not to respond to the adverts and has also released the warning to the Polish media.
Up to 8,000 seasonal migrant workers, largely from Eastern Europe, come to Littlehampton, Bognor and Chichester every year for seasonal agricultural work.
Sgt Glenton said: “These people are left vulnerable with no money and no income and many are unable to speak the language.
“Packaging and picking firms have their own recruitment process but it doesn’t involve asking for payment.
“Do not hand any money over – you do not have to pay for employment in the UK.”
Anyone with information that could help the Operation Accent team should email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the Operacja Akcent Facebook page or use Twitter @sergeantglenton.
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