Over the past few days individuals have been entering retail premises in in the Highlands and Aberdeenshire, with the intention of confusing staff by using distraction techniques to commit theft.
There are many types of distraction techniques but a popular one amongst criminals is where a member of staff is given £200 in £20 notes and requests that they be changed into £10 notes. On receiving the £10 notes the "customer" appears to change their mind and gives the member of staff the £10 notes back and asks for their original bundle of £20 notes to be returned before leaving the shop. Sometime later, the member of staff counts the £10 notes and it becomes obvious that although the "customer" only had the notes in their possession for a brief moment some of them had been removed. In short, the "customer" left with £200 in £20 notes and £100 in ten pound notes.
Confusing? That's the idea! This type of distraction theft can be very confusing for staff and the culprits are well practised in this form of deceit.
What to look out for:
Unusual transaction requests
Not regular customers - generally work in pairs
Asking to change large sums of money for different notes
Asking for items which will take the staff away from the till area
Asking to view several expensive items at once
Advise your staff!
Anyone with information concerning this type incident or any similar retail crime should contact Police Scotland on 101. Alternatively, they can report information to Crimestoppers on 0800 111 555 should they wish to remain anonymous.
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