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Police investigate fraudsters 'ringing the changes'

12 May 2017 13:04 PM

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Police in Tynedale are warning businesses in the area to be on their guard for fraudsters looking to carry out a fraud offence known as 'ringing the changes'.

The fraudsters commit the offence by going into a shop or business and asking for amounts of cash to be changed.

While the staff member begins to count and change the money the offenders will then try to distract or confuse them so the fraudsters end up with more money than they asked to change.

This advice comes as police are appealing for information after two tea rooms in Tynedale fell foul of fraudsters 'ringing the changes'.

The first incident happened at the Vintage at the Tower, Hill Street in Corbridge at approximately 12.30pm on Wednesday, May 10. A couple came into the teashop and paid for a £1 item and then asked for change, for coins for a note and then asked to swap change into notes, causing staff confusion.

A short time later approximately 2pm a couple came into the Tea at Blandings teashop, Cattle Market in Hexham and made a similar request to staff. After buying something they then asked for £20 cashback which was given and then they distracted staff and said they had not received the cash and another £20 was handed over, fraudulently taking £40.

The offenders are described as both chubby build: the man, tall, bald, wearing a dark coloured top and the woman, had dark brown hair.

Officers are carrying out enquiries and are keen for anyone with information to get in contact.

Any witnesses should ring Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 535 of 10/05/17 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.