North Yorkshire Police release CCTV image of a man they wish to speak to in connection with a string of scams
Police investigating a string of scams targeting small businesses in North Yorkshire have released a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to.
Officers are investigating a series of frauds which have seen butchers and hair salons asked to send large quantities of meat and beauty products to an address in Southend-on-Sea in Essex using fraudulent credit cards.
The transactions initially appeared to clear but once the card holders whose details had been stolen became aware of the purchases, they were refunded by the credit card companies - who subsequently claimed the funds back from the small businesses.
The businesses targeted have been left without the products and substantially out of pocket.
A quick-thinking taxi driver tasked with delivering the products back in March became suspicious and managed to take a photo of the man collecting the meat from the address in Southend-on-Sea and this has now been released in the hope he can be identified.
BBC Crimewatch Roadshow has featured the appeal and North Yorkshire Police Financial Investigator, Kevin Ross, is urging the public to come forward if they can help identify the man in the photo.
“This fraud has had a significant impact on these businesses who sent large quantities of premium products in good faith and have now lost thousands of pounds which they have no way of recovering," he said.
“These fraudsters are clearly very well-organised and have used the Covid-19 situation to their benefit, claiming the virus as a reason for having the goods delivered quickly and to a pick-up driver at the side of the road.
“The taxi driver’s quick thinking initiative which has resulted in this very clear photo, could well be the difference between us finding the unscrupulous individuals behind this crime and I would urge anyone who can help identify the man to get in touch immediately.”
If you can help identify the man pictured, call 101, press option two and dial the extension 4170 to leave a message for Kevin Ross.
You can also contact Crimewatch on 08000 468 999, text Crimewatch on 63999, starting with the word ‘CRIME’ then space and your message. You can also email Crimewatch at [email protected]