Highlands & Islands Police Division have issued a warning, urging local shops and supermarkets in the Highlands to be on their guard following a recent report of fraud commonly referred to as "Ringing the Changes."
The fraud involves a person asking a member of staff to exchange a large sum of money for them into notes of smaller denominations. While doing this they deliberately confuse the staff member to obtain more money than they came in with.
The most recent incident occurred at a premises in the Hilton area of Inverness on Thursday evening (24th November) and unfortunately resulted in the suspect gaining a three figure sum. Enquiries are ongoing to trace the individual. As part of the investigation, officers are urging all businesses to watch out for any suspicious similar behaviour.
Sergeant Richard Ross advises: "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 are using 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."
"If you are in any doubt consider asking another colleague for assistance or 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 has information that could assist with this particular inquiry is encouraged to contact Police on 101, or any anonymous information can also be passed to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."