Gardaí are warning retailers to be especially vigilant after a Dublin based gang used false credit cards at a number of stores in Letterkenny.
Crime Prevention Officer Sgt Paul Wallace told the Democrat today that the gang made off with thousands of euros worth of high end goods and cash in the scam yesterday evening.
"They used false credit cards to buy high value goods such as phones, laptops, tablets, designer watches and fragrances at a number of shops in Letterkenny on Friday evening. Another tactic they used was to ask for cashback," he said.
Sgt Paul Wallace
Prevention is key
Sgt Wallace appealed to shop owners to take a few minutes at the start of the day to ensure all their staff are familiar with the security protocols.
"The criminals are aware that many towns and villages are in the midst of their Christmas promotions. Shops are busy and there are a lot of inexperienced, seasonal staff doing their best.
"Taking ten minutes at the start of the day to go through all the security protocols can save a lot of anguish," he advised.
Tips for debit and credit card security can be found at www.safecard.ie
Owners and staff are also advised to be extra wary if a customer they don't know immediately asks to see the most expensive range of goods on offer, especially something that could be sold on very easily, or looks for a lot of cash back in addition to their card transactions.
In addition, Sgt Wallace warned that false notes, especially €50 and €20 notes, are in circulation.
Again, he said, there are some simple safety measures that can prevent a business being caught out.
"Go to the Central Bank website for guidelines on how to tell the difference between real notes and counterfeits, and ensure that your staff are familiar with these.
"We also recommend using a security light for cards and notes, as that's the best way to reveal whether important security features are missing.
"There is a lot of helpful information easily available on how to prevent crimes such as these," Sgt Wallace said. "They key thing is to ensure that you and your staff know about them and can spot such scams as they happen."