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‘Ringing the Changes’ Fraud Hits Penicuik

Police Scotland are warning local businesses to be aware after a charity shop fell victim to a ‘ringing the changes’ fraud.

The incident occurred on Wednesday 21 August at the Cancer Research shop in Penicuik’s Kentigern Mall. It is the second incident of this type of fraud to occur in Midlothian since August 12.

A man, described as 45 to 50-years-old, 5ft 6ins tall, heavily built, with a Geordie accent, entered the charity shop where he purchased an item of little worth. However whilst the till was open the suspect asked the cashier to change some bank notes for him but he continued to confuse the unsuspecting cashier to the point that he managed to defraud the store out of a small amount of money.

It is believed that the same suspect also targeted several other charity shops in Penicuik. Enquiries are still ongoing to discover whether any other town centre establishment has fallen victim to the fraud.

Police Scotland are seeking witnesses who may be able to assist in finding the male in question, with Chief Inspector Jim Royan, Midlothian Area Commander, saying:

We are keen for any information that can help us identify this suspect, who clearly has no qualms about targeting a charity shop, and who may have targeted more businesses in the area.

This is the second such warning that we have issued in as many weeks, and I would urge businesses to be vigilant in order to guard against this scam, particularly when carrying out transactions at the till.

Anyone who recognises the description of the suspect, or who thinks that their business may have been targeted in this way in recent days, should contact Police Scotland on 101.