Warning to Aberdeenshire businesses to watch out for fraudsters

Police in Aberdeen are urging businesses in the North-east to be on their guard following  reports of a fraud dubbed  “Ringing the Changes”.

The scam involves a person asking a member of staff to exchange a large sum of money for them into notes of smaller denominations or into a different currency.

While doing this they deliberately distract and confuse the staff member in a bid to obtain more money than they came in with.

Two incidents, believed to be linked, were reported in the Aberdeen area on Friday, September 22.

Neither of the reported incidents resulted in any money being stolen due to staff being alert to this type of scam.

Officers are urging other businesses to be on their guard against suspicious behaviour of this type.

Inspector Gary Spark said: “I would urge all business owners to ensure that their staff are aware and alert to this type of scam, and in particular to watch out for anyone asking to exchange large amounts of money.

“These people use sleight of hand to leave the store with more money than they came in with, and it’s possible they could target during a particularly busy time which provides an ideal opportunity for the criminal to confuse or distract you.

“It is better to be safe than sorry and if you are in any doubt consider asking another colleague for assistance or politely decline the request and call the police.

“Fraudsters attempting this scam typically travel widely so I would urge people across the north-east to be aware of the risk.

“Inquiries are ongoing into the recent incidents and I would urge anyone with information to contact police on 101, using reference 1313 of September 22.

“Alternatively information can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”