About four months ago I was approached by a distressed young female who appeared to come from Portslade station.

She told me she and her boyfriend had had an argument and he had left her stranded at the station.

She said she was unable to return home to Lewes so could I please give her some money towards the cost of this journey.

She was smart and her youthful looks made me believe her. I gave her £5 and was glad to be able to help.

But this week I was in a pub in Portslade and in walked this young lady asking various customers for money and saying her boyfriend had beaten her up.

She held a pair of broken glasses, claiming they had been broken by him, he had deserted her and she was unable to get home.

I wasn't actually in the group of people she was talking to but I recognised her and brought this to the attention of the bar manager.

While I was explaining my story another customer said he too had given her money on another occasion. He also said he had seen a man in a Mercedes pull up to her, she got in the car and they drove away.

They may well be working this scam all along the coast.

Now I feel angry and less likely to help anyone under similar circumstances.

-Ms G McDonald, address supplied