POLICE in Chesterfield have issued a number of CCTV images of people they want to speak to in relation to a number of ‘ringing the changes’ incidents in the area.
‘Ringing the changes’ is the name for a scam where thieves confuse shop staff or cashiers into giving them money.
The first incident took place between 3pm and 3.30pm on Thursday, April 12. A man walked into Dronfield Post Office on Chesterfield Road and asked the cashier to change a large amount of money into different denominations.
He confused the shop worker and managed to leave with £175 more than when he entered the post office.
The man was described as around 5ft 4in, with dark curly hair, of stocky build and a foreign accent.
A similar incident happened on Friday, April 20 between 8.45pm and 9pm at Newbold Fish Bar, Littlemoor. A man asked the shop keeper to change a bundle of £20 notes into £10 notes. He then claimed he wanted coins, which the shop keeper disputed and the man left the store.
Shortly after, the shop keeper then realises that she is £80 down.
The man is described as around 5ft 5in, aged in his 30s, with short dark hair and possibly of Turkish descent. He was wearing a dark blue jacket and dark trousers.
On Thursday, April 19 between 11.40am and 11.55am a man entered Loundsley Green Post Office, at McColls store on Cuttholme Way and asked to change Stirling notes into Euros.
The man then said he had changed his mind and wanted Money Gram, and left the store with both currencies.
He is described as between 5ft 6in and 5ft 9in tall, of Asian or Middle Eastern appearance and aged in his late 20s or early 30s. He was wearing dark trousers and a jacket over a jumper.
Community Safety Inspector Dave Stone said: “We would urge all retailers and business managers to ensure staff are aware of this scam, as it can involve quite large sums of money.
“Offenders will often take advantage of a busy shop or counter and also the desire to provide customer satisfaction.
“Clearly staff want to be courteous and helpful but they also need to be mindful of this scam and be suspicious of any customer requesting large denomination notes be changed, or if they wish to cancel transactions once cash is on the counter.”
Shop workers and cashiers are advised to, if possible call, for another colleague for assistance when changing notes and to carefully check money going in and out of the till.
Insp Stone added: “Ultimately, if a shop worker or cashier has any doubts or suspicions then we would advise them to decline the request and report it to police, with as much information as possible including the descriptions of the people and any vehicles they may be using.”
Anyone with information on these incidents, or if you recognise any of the men in these images, please contact Derbyshire police on 101, the non-emergency number or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.