Portsmouth shops at risk of fake head office scam, police warn

SHOPS across the Portsmouth region could be targeted by a scam involving a fake phone call from their head office, according to police.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 2:20 pm
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 3:25 pm
Commercial Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Malcolm Wells (181017-6177)
Commercial Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Malcolm Wells (181017-6177)

Hampshire Constabulary has issued a warning after an incident took place in the area on February 25.

A woman called a store claiming to be from the head office, saying that a refund had been authorised for a customer who had an allergic reaction to some perfume bought at the store.

Police say that shortly afterwards, a white female in her mid-30s with long dark hair in a ponytail and a lip piercing, arrived in the shop and was given cash without presenting any receipts or returning goods.

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Commercial Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Malcolm Wells (181017-6177)

She also presented a rash on her face that she claimed the perfume had caused.

As it turned out, the store’s head office had no knowledge of this being authorised.

Hampshire Constabulary says that if an employee receives any calls of this nature, to contact their head office before providing a refund and if a suspect turns up to premises requesting a refund, call 999.

Anyone with CCTV of suspected fraudsters is asked to contact 101.