Retailers across the north-east are being targeted by fraudsters trying to cash in fake vouchers, The Evening Express can reveal today.
Police say businesses in the city’s main shopping centres and Inverurie have fallen victim to the scammers “numerous” times in recent weeks.
In some cases the crooks were able to walk away with four-figure sums after presenting fake Compliments Vouchers to unsuspecting staff.
Police today sounded a warning to retailers and urged the public not to purchase these counterfeit vouchers.
Constable John Calder, of Aberdeen Queen Street Station, said: “It’s disappointing that businesses in the area are falling victim to fraudsters using these vouchers.
“We want to make sure local businesses are kept informed and I would urge shop keepers and assistants to be extra vigilant when accepting vouchers of this nature.
“We would also like to speak to anyone who may have purchased these fraudulent vouchers believing them to be genuine.
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
“Anyone with any information relating to these vouchers is urged to contact police on 101.”
A number of shops and restaurants have been targeted, including some in Union Square, the Trinity Centre and Bon Accord Centre.
The fake vouchers have some flaws which make them distinguishable from real ones.
They have 11 digits instead of 12, while the circle on the rear is blue instead of black.
City centre councillor Michael Hutchison said: “I’m sorry to hear that local businesses have been targeted with these fake vouchers. I’d encourage anyone who may have information about this to contact the police.”
Inverurie councillor Lesley Berry added: “This is not what anyone wants to hear, especially at this time of year. Shopkeepers work hard and are pressed enough to keep the doors open as it is.”