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Refund Fraud - Hotels and Businesses - Tayside

Alert message sent 14/10/2020 13:11:00

Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch Scotland

Following a recent incident at a hotel in Tayside, please ensure you and your staff are alert and aware of security protocols when issuing a refund to guests and customers.

On 13/10/2020 two males, see descriptions below, attended at the hotel to pay for a reservation made on Booking.com. On attempting to pay with card, the transaction failed twice, Suspect 1 then asked to pay using a virtual card and the card terminal was handed to suspect 1. The transaction went through on this occasion, however suspect 1 showed the staff member his receipt, which showed he had been charged £100 extra, and a refund was agreed.

The terminal code for carrying out a refund procedure was input by the staff member, and appears to have been seen by both suspects, who were showing an overly keen interest in the book containing said code. Both suspects then attended at their room and approximately 10 mins later Suspect 1 re-attended at the reception desk claiming that the TV in the room was not working, along with other distraction techniques. The staff member then went said room to check the TV, leaving suspect 1 unattended at the reception desk.  

At the close of the day the staff member carried out the usual transaction checks and discovered a large sum had been refunded to suspect 1's card, CCTV checks showed the male had tampered with the device when left unattended at reception.

Suspect 1 - male dark skin colour, early 30's, tall, stocky/muscular build, short dark hair wearing a grey/light coloured check suit, a black t-shirt, black dress brogue style shoes. Suspect 1 was carrying a tablet.

Suspect 2 - male lighter skin colour than suspect 1, early 30's average height, slight build, dark coloured hair, shaved underneath, with a top-knot at crown of head, wearing clear large lensed glasses, black puffer style jacket with a red/white stripe around cuff area of left forearm, white jumper, dark trousers and dark coloured shoes.

Any similar suspicious activity seen should be reported to police. It is known that the males have made reservations at other nearby hotels, but have not attended there as yet.

Message sent by
Mark Armstrong (NHWN, Community Support Officer, NW Scotland)

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