Be aware of ‘Ringing the Changes’

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Police in Angus are advising all retailers to be on their guard against a scam commonly known as ‘Ringing the Changes’.

The scam 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.

Very often it is only when the so-called customer has left that the deception is discovered.

Variations on the theme have been applied across the UK and include receiving change and then immediately cancelling the transaction while failing to return an amount of cash or changing money to foreign currency accepting it and then cancelling the deal and not returning a portion of the money.

Gary Brown, Inspector in relation to community policing in Angus said: “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.

“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.”