Business owners urged to be aware of the ringing the changes scam

Police Scotland van side on with hi visibility markings and the words Police Scotland and Police
Warning to business owners and cashiers about the 'ringing the changes' scam.

Police are asking small businesses and cashiers to be on the lookout for a scam in which a man has conned people out of hundreds of pounds in the north and east of Scotland over the past few days.

Between Monday 21 July and Thursday, 23 July 2020, a number of stores, – a supermarket but mainly instore post offices – in Elgin, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Beauly and Fort William have been targeted by a man who asks for larger notes for his smaller denomination notes then cancels the transaction but only hands back some of the money, without the cashier realising and it is only discovered after he’s left the store.

Detective Constable John Pinder, Fraserburgh CID Proactive, said

This is what’s called a ‘ringing the changes’ scam and it involves a person requesting that large notes be changed into smaller notes then changing their mind or distracting the cashier to get back more money than they gave, or take money without the cashier noticing.

We are urging shopkeepers to be extra vigilant if you are asked to change large sums of money by a member of the public. If it’s within store policy to do so, we’d advise calling a colleague or supervisor over to double-check this.

We’re also asking anyone with information about these incidents, who maybe had this happen or an attempt at it but who have not yet advised police, to call us.

Please contact officers at Fraserburgh Police Station via 101 quoting reference number 3442 of 21 July 2020 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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