CONMEN stole a chain from around a man’s neck when they stopped him on the street and asked him of he wanted to buy any jewellery.
The 48-year-old was approached outside the Portland Hotel, Chesterfield town centre, by three men offering him jewellery.
They placed one of their fake chains around the man’s neck and when he said he did not want it they removed the victim’s own chains, leaving the fake one behind.
The victim only realised what had happened later in the day and contacted police.
Police in the town are now urging people to be vigilant.
The conmen were all aged between 20 and 30, wearing black and of Eastern European appearance.
Anyone with information should call Derbyshire Police on 101.