A CORK business has lost close to €1,000 in a change scam being run in the city in recent weeks and gardaí are calling on businesses to put limits in place to protect themselves.
Up to a dozen shops, filling stations and post offices have made reports to gardaí about being duped out of money in the scam, which aims to confuse staff.
The sums lost vary from €250 up to more than €900.
In the scam, the scammers go into a shop and ask for change – typically wishing to change a bunch of €20 notes into €50 notes, or €50 notes into €20 notes.
Then, when the person is handed back the change, they count the notes and slip some of them off the bunch of notes. Then, they tell the cashier they have changed their mind and want their original notes back.
In some cases involving post offices, the customer requests change of sterling notes.
Typically, in such cases, the business only becomes aware of being duped when cashing up later in the day and becomes aware that there is money missing.
Crime prevention officer for Cork city, Sergeant Brian McSweeney urged businesses to take care around their policy relating to customers who seek to have notes changed into other denominations.
“Parameters should be put in place that they do not have a cash change facility, or put a limit in place," he said.
"Tell people to go to a bank to do it.”