Police warning after scams and counterfeit incidents

The scam involves trying to confuse the shopkeeper with change.
The scam involves trying to confuse the shopkeeper with change.

Police in Fife are urging people to be vigilant following reports of two ‘ringing the changes’ scams, as a number of counterfeit notes have also been found in circulation.

The first incident took place in Main Street, Thornton, around 6.10pm on Thursday when two men obtained an additional £200 from the cashier.

A warning has been issued over the fake Ulster notes

A warning has been issued over the fake Ulster notes

The second incident took place in Baldridgeburn, Dunfermline, around 6.50pm on Thursday when two men took an extra £50 from the cashier.

‘Ringing the changes’ scams often involve a person requesting that large notes be changed into smaller notes.

They then claim to change their mind or distract the cashier to get back more money than they gave, or take money without the cashier noticing.

Police say if you’re asked to change a large amount of money and it’s within store policy to do so, then call a colleague or supervisor over to double-check it.

Now an appeal has been launched to trace two men in relation to the incidents.

The first man is described as having tanned skin, in his early thirties, around 5ft 7-9ins tall, of stocky build, with stubble and had a foreign accent.

He was wearing a dark-coloured baseball hat, sunglasses, a red t-shirt under a dark-coloured body warmer, long black shorts and slip-on sandals.

The second man is described as also being tanned, around the same age, about 5ft 8-11ins tall, with slicked back dark hair.

He had a foreign accent and was wearing a camouflage t-shirt and light jeans.

The news comes as it was also revealed that a number of fake Ulster £20 and £50 notes have been exchanged for goods in the region recently.

Five incidents were reported between July 10 and 15, two of which took place in Cupar and three in Kirkcaldy, and all involving fake £50 Bank of Ulster notes.

The advice on how to tell if you have been given a fake note is to look for as many genuine security features as possible and never rely on looking for only one.

• Take your time, particularly if light conditions are poor or you are handling a large number of notes.

• Feel the note in your hands and look at it closely: if you have any doubts, compare it to one that you know to be genuine.

• Remember, remain vigilant and do not rely on just one feature, check a few.

Anyone with information in either case can contact Police Scotland via 101.

Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.