Check your Cheques
Local police forces are keen to circulate details of the latest in the diverse and numerous scams doing the rounds. This time, the con artists are targeting those who pay by cheque, which is still the case for many non-residents.
How it works
Scammers scope out customers paying by cheque, usually targeting the elderly, but not always.
They then follow the customers out in to the car park, with some unfortunate victims reporting being followed by car almost to their home address.
Once the con artists catch up with the customers, they introduce themselves as the shop manager and report a technical issue, meaning that cheques cannot be processed. They then ask to see your receipt and request payment by cash or even by card, producing a very official looking chip and pin machine to seal the deal.
If the customer refuses, the scammer may even accuse them of theft, threatening to call the police- although actually, this would be the first thing gendarmes advise you to do in this situation!
Remember that if the person in front of you is trying to intimidate you or pressure you to part with your money, they are unlikely to be the person they are claiming to be.
Similarly, don’t be fooled by a calm, considerate professional demeanour; these con artists are extremely skilful!
Never hand over cash or enter your card pin number in the street, or anywhere where you are not 100% sure of the authenticity of the vendor.
If you have even the slightest doubt, call the police.
The freephone number that specifically deals with scams (escroqueries) is 0805 805 817.
You can also signal a scam online here.