Police have praised two Tesco employees from Mansfield who prevented a customer from losing over £400 to a fraud,
Sarah Rowley and Lisa Bradley, who work at the Chesterfield Road Extra store, became suspicious when a lady tried to buy eight gift cards.
After asking, they discovered that she had taken out a loan and was told to repay it through gift cards.
Lisa was the first to deal with the situation after a member of staff on the tills called her over.
She said: “Normally the members of staff shout a team leader over and it happened to be me.
“Because we know what this kind of fraud involves, we do try to keep it at five maximum. She said that she needed to put £50 on each one of the eight.”
“Often when you’re in that situation they obviously don’t come forward with why they want that many, but this lady looked very anxious and you could tell she was vulnerable so, because she was forthcoming with the information, I then obviously asked why she would be making repayments on a gift card.
“She said she didn’t know. I asked her if she’d made any repayments before and she said no.
“I asked her if she’d received the loan and she said she wasn’t sure.
“She hadn’t spoken to this person and she was getting text messages and as were speaking to her the phone was going as well”.
Thinking that this was a genuine loan, the lady had given her bank details and became worried about what was going to happen.
As a team leader, Sarah then went to provide backup for Lisa.
After speaking to the lady, they found out that she had noone at home to help her with the situation.
It was at this point they were able to make a breakthrough and convince her to get in touch with Nottinghamshire Police.
While they were talking to the lady, her phone continued to get message after message.
Lisa said: “I came across and she explained again, so I said it’s not right, you shouldn’t be paying a loan like this.
“She kept blocking the number and then another number would come up.
“ I told her she needed to phone 101 and let them know what was happening.
“She said ‘oh I can’t get 101 on my phone’ so we offered to do it for her.
“That’s when everything sort of transpired to get her on the ladder as such and get things moving - and to prove to her that it wasn’t right what was happening”.
Nottinghamshire Police advise that you make family and friends aware of the use of gift cards in scams, which is a tactic very often used.
No genuine debt can be repaid in vouchers and any scheme which asks for repayments with gift cards and other such products should be avoided and reported.
If you know of anyone who has fallen victim to any type of scam, please report it to Action Fraud.