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Police: Beware of foreign exchange scammers

Tuesday, December 24, 2013    

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THE Constabulary Communication Network (CCN) yesterday warned business operators and their employees to be wary of foreign exchange scammers operating in several districts across the island during the Christmas season.

According to the CCN — the police's information arm — scammers have been entering various business establishments with foreign currency to be exchanged. When the money is disbursed by the clerk and the foreign currency exchanged, the scammers reject the rate and propose a higher one. When this proposition is refused by the clerk, the scammers take back their foreign currency and return less money than was issued.

The CCN also reported that the scammers tendered legitimate foreign currency for exchange and ask the clerk to check if it is counterfeit. After the notes are verified, the scammers disagree to the rate proposed and request that the money be returned. They then indicate an interest in proceeding with the transaction and use the opportunity to insert counterfeit notes among the original notes that were already checked by the clerk.

The police said business operators and their employees should make all the necessary checks when conducting foreign exchange transactions. "Persons are being encouraged to be aware of their surroundings, and notify the police if suspicious persons or activities are observed. The police are also urging members of the public to adhere to the safety tips they provide and to take the necessary measures to protect themselves, family and property and reduce the risk of robberies during the festive season," said a CCN release.

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