March 10, 2016
Warning issued over fake 'deaf and dumb' foreign artists in Burnham

Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge residents have been warned to be on the look out for a pretend 'deaf and dumb artist' who is calling on homes in the area.

The cold callers have gradually moved across the West country in recent weeks, after initially being seen in Wiltshire before coming to Somerset over the past week.

This photograph of one of the alleged callers in Burnham's Victoria Street was taken on the same day that residents in Highbridge also reported people attempting the scam.

Shaun Hills took this photo outside St Andrew's Church in Burnham-On-Sea and said he was called on by one of the con artists.

Police across the country have warned people to be vigilant about the callers.

They are typically from eastern Europe, and hold up cards proclaiming themselves to be 'deaf and dumb', and offering art for sale, generally for £10 or £15.

The art, while of a good standard, is generally a photocopy, and police have warned people not to be taken in, and that the sellers do not have a Pedlar's Licence.

Shaun told "I had a man hand me a card to which I read and he then pointed to a bold different coloured font saying 'give me how much you want'."

"I asked him to write on a piece of paper to which he wrote 'for today Bristol', and as soon as I wrote 'money what for', he quickly looked away and started signing, claiming he didn't understand," he added.


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