Honiton pub is left out of pocket after customer scams staff with fake £50 notes

Police have revealed how a pub in Honiton was left out of pocket when a man scammed staff into accepting fake £50 notes.

Devon and Cornwall Police are urging businesses in East Devon to be aware a member of staff was duped into swapping the fake money for legal tender worth £200.

Police said business, traders and staff should be ‘wary’ of payment with Scottish £50 notes, as the ones accepted in Honiton were found to be fake.

Investigating officers said a man swapped the notes at the bar at the start of May, after buying a drink, paying with a £50 note then ‘confusing’ staff, asking to exchange his Scottish cash for £200 of English money.

Colin Balch, PCSO at Exmouth, said: “On Tuesday 2nd May 2023 at approximately 10.30 pm a male suspect entered a public house in Honiton and ordered a drink at the bar.

“The suspect simply requested to pay for his drink with a £50 note.

“During this time, the suspect managed to confuse a member of staff by requesting an exchange of two £50 Scottish notes for notes of differing denomination amounting to £200 pounds worth of English notes.

“This resulted in the loss of £200 pounds as the notes are counterfeit.”

Devon and Cornwall Police are calling for vigilance, warning against accepting £50 notes for payment in shops, public houses and garden centres.

Mr Balch called for ‘all retailers’ to be wary of accepting Scottish £50 notes from customers.

He said: “Especially any person trying to purchase a small item with a £50 note be it Scottish or English.

“Most supermarkets refuse to exchange notes for lower denominations as the point is to confuse staff members who are more than likely busy.”

He added: “Please follow their example and do not allow yourself or your staff to become a victim.”

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