A top police officer has warned criminals are bamboozling shopkeepers and sales assistants in Londonderry and across the North West with a money-changing scam before stealing cash using sleight of hand tricks.
Chief Inspector Andy Lemon said several incidents have been reported to police in Londonderry and the north coast area.
“In the instances reported to us, staff of business premises, including supermarkets, have been asked to change amounts of money into notes of different denominations.
“The fraudsters then get the staff confused and use sleight of hand to seize money belonging to the business.
“We are advising all businesspeople to be on the alert. Carefully count any money that is offered to you and keep it in your possession. If the ‘customer’ claims to have changed his mind and asks for the original notes back, insist on getting your money – and counting it – before agreeing.
“Shopkeepers could also decide not to offer money-changing services to people they do not know – leave that to the banks.
”It is believed that some of the people involved are eastern European and are believed to be using a southern registered silver Volkswagen Passat and/or a Grey Ford Mondeo. I appeal to anyone who has information or witnesses any of these vehicles acting suspiciously or has any information relating to such incidents to contact police immediately on the non emergency number 101 or alternatively contact crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”