Brechin retailers warned of Ringing the Changes scam that has hit Angus

JON SAVAGE'SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY'FOR AGENDA PAGE'a pile of money cash notes money currency
JON SAVAGE'SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY'FOR AGENDA PAGE'a pile of money cash notes money currency

Police Scotland officers in Angus are advising retailers in the town to watch out for a scam, called ‘Ringing the Changes’, after an incident in Montrose.

The scam, which was reported as happening in the region in early November, involves shop staff exchanging substantial sums of money to a seemingly innocent customer seeking change.

In truth, the customer is a practiced criminal who relies on some well-rehearsed conversation and sleight of hand to take full advantage of a shop worker’s good will.

The incident in Montrose occurred on November 29, at the Tesco on Western Road at about 8.30 p.m.

A man and two women confused staff and made off with a three figure sum of money. One of the women is described as being aged 25-35 years old, with long brown-coloured hair and spoke with broken English. She was wearing a brown-coloured short leather jacket and blue-coloured jeans.

The other woman is described as five feet six inches tall with black-coloured hair and also spoke with broken English.

Gary Brown, Inspector in relation to community policing in Angus said: “We would urge all retailers to ensure that their staff is aware and alert to this type of incident as it can and often does involve quite large amounts of money. This can often occur due to staff being busy carrying out their respective duties whilst under pressure such as large customer influx and or even the desire to provide customer satisfaction.

Customer service is important however staff have to be alert and suspicious to any customer requesting large denomination notes to be changed, or those who wish to cancel transactions once cash is on the counter.

“Where this happens consider calling on another colleague for assistance, or if in any doubt politely decline the request and notify the police. Many retailers now display signs informing customers that they will not exchange large amounts to discourage such behaviour.”

Anyone who can assist police with their investigation in to these incidents should call 101.