A ‘customer’ created a confusing scenario at Shoba Patel’s Molesey Stores near Hampton Court, Surrey. It was a busy time and the guy who came into the store said he had just moved into the area (to number 15 to be precise) and asked if he could collect a delivery from her. He said he thought she was Click and Collect.

He was very presentable and friendly and Shoba was prepared to help him out, but when the delivery driver arrived he asked her if his customer lived at her address and she said no, he says he lives at number 15.

At this point she saw the customer sitting outside in his car and alerted the driver. He apparently had been waiting there as he had been informed on his mobile that the delivery was due.

There was a further kerfuffle over correct identification. At one point the guy said he was married to the Nigerian lady at number 15, but Shoba had known the lady for years and knew she lived at number 17. In fact, she knows all the people in her neighbourhood. She says: “I am the only Indian and the family at number 17 are the only Africans.” Hampton Court is a predominantly white area.

The store was very busy at the time, but she overheard the driver discussing the delivery which turned out to be three expensive mobile phones and she surmises that, if she had signed, she would have been liable for paying for them. She hasn’t seen the ‘customer’ since.

It’s a good warning and it’s a new one on me, but then the parcel service market is still pretty virginal and bound to bring new predators with it.