Store owners and staff warned to be vigilant for romance fraud cases in Derbyshire
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Derbyshire Constabulary calls for stores to do more to protect vulnerable people targeted by scams.
Recently, a store in Chesterfield sold a lady over £2,500 worth of gift vouchers, in just over three weeks.
Sadly, a lot of our most trusted high-street stores have no limits in place on the sale of gift vouchers over the counter.
Over the past few years, there has been a rise in romance fraud offences taking place across the UK, and right here in Derbyshire.
Romance scams involve people being duped into sending money to criminals who go to great lengths to gain their trust and convince them that they are in a genuine relationship. Quite often, victims are persuaded to purchase and send the codes on gift cards, from Amazon or iTunes vouchers, to these fraudsters.
It’s important for both owners and staff to be aware of these types of scams circulating in our community and we ask for your help in being vigilant to assist in protecting the vulnerable in our society.
Store owners are required to take precautions in protecting their customers, here’s six steps you can take:
- Raise awareness with your staff on these types of offences and urge them to be on the look-out for people buying excess amounts of gift vouchers or those purchasing them on a regular basis.
- Implement a spend limit on vouchers in store, on each transaction.
- Make a manager authorise certain limit amounts (e.g. over £200)
- Don’t be afraid to ask customers why they are buying gift cards, to determine if they have fallen victim to a scam.
- If you are unsure do not sell the vouchers to the individual and explain why.
- If someone has fallen victim, contact us, signpost the victim to do the same, and also raise a report with Action Fraud.