Shropshire Star

Police warning for shopkeepers as pair attempt 'suspicious' purchases in market town

Police have issued a warning to shopkeepers after two men were reported attempting to purchase up to £2k worth of vapes and cigarettes.


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Officers in Leominster are warning shop owners of 'chargeback fraud' after two men were seen acting suspiciously in shops around the town.

West Mercia Police say on Thursday, July 4, several independent and corporate shops or businesses reported two males entering their store, seeking to purchase large quantities of cigarettes and vapes.

The requested items had a value of between £600 and £2,000 and the purchases were attempted to be paid on card.

While police say no criminal activity can be proven at the time, they have concerns that there appears to be a national increase in what is called 'chargeback fraud'.

A spokesperson for Leominster's Safer Neighbourhood Team said: "Chargeback fraud, occurs when a consumer makes a purchase, often online with their bank card and then requests a chargeback from the issuing bank after raising a dispute over receiving the purchased goods or service, knowing that they are lying to the bank.

"In addition, questions have to be asked as to the legitimacy of the bank card they are using, the rightful owner and their intentions for buying such a large quantity of products.

"If they seek to pay in cash, shopkeepers should make sure to check the bank notes to make sure they are not fake."

Officers are asking those with concerns, or wishing to report a crime of this nature or similar, to contact police on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.

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