A SPATE of mobile phone theft frauds has prompted a Doncaster police warning.
Officers in the borough say fines have recently been given to people for making fraudulent claims and wasting police time, after they have sold phones which they have previously reported as stolen.
The incidents involved selling the items to online mobile phone recycling companies and second hand dealers, officers have revealed.
Officers are warning people to think before making any false allegations of mobile phone theft – as they could end up with a criminal record.
Punishment could be anywhere from an £80 fine to a prison term.
A force spokeswoman said reporting a mobile phone to the police as lost or stolen, and then claiming for a replacement through insurance, is a criminal offence if the mobile phone is not actually lost or stolen.
Sergeant Jez Fitzgibbons, from South Yorkshire Police’s Doncaster Crime Management Team, said: “There have been a number of incidents where people have claimed their mobile has been stolen, had a replacement sent through to them by their insurance company and then proceeded to sell the ‘stolen’ handset on.
“This is a waste of police time and a fraudulent offence and will be dealt with as such.”
To report any suspicious activity, contact the police on 0114 2202020 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.