A shop owner has been left devastated after being fleeced out of £1,300 by a customer over an ice cream.
Mohammed Abbas who has run Yumi Ice Cream Parlour in Nottinghamshir for almost 10 years, said the customer used the shop’s card machine to issue himself a refund.
It’s now left him significantly out of pocket – and is concerned he won’t ever get the money back.
Abbas said the fraudster came into his store at around 5.30pm on April 26. He bought £15.60 of ice cream goods and asked to pay by card.
After being handed the machine to enter his pin, the customer cancelled the transaction and instead made three refund transactions to the tune of £2,800 – of which £1,300 was successful.
He distracted the shop worker and after some deliberation decided to put some items back and pay for the rest by cash rather than by card.
When Abbas was cashing up he came across the fraud and contacted his bank, Barclays, which provide him with the card machine.
He’s since been advised that the money has been transferred to Kenya and is worried the bank aren’t taking enough action to recoup his money.
He said: “I told them ‘I don’t sell furniture or high end items’. The ice creams start from £1.95. Why did it not get picked up? I feel like Barclays have let me down.
“This has affected my family and my mental health and I am still paying for this now. We work really hard, sometimes seven days a week. It is not fair what has happened.
“The money has gone to a Kenyan bank and they are trying to get it back.
“There should have been something in place that stopped it being transferred. Their excuse is ‘we are responsible’ but we are a victim of crime.”
The Mirror’s sister title the Nottinghamshire Live contacted Barclays who have since decided to refund him half of the lost money as “a goodwill gesture.”
“We are an independent business,” Abbas stressed. “We can’t afford to lose money like this. Why and how did this happen?
“It is shameful and I am scared for other businesses. I don’t want them to have to go through the same.”
A spokesman for Barclays bank said: “We were sorry to learn about the theft that took place at Yumi Ice Cream Parlour.
“We take great care to educate our clients about the importance of making sure that they always know where their card machine is, and what it’s being used for, to prevent fraudulent abuse.
“We encourage all clients to visit our website or contact us directly for more information about how to keep themselves and their business safe from fraudsters.
“As a gesture of goodwill, we have refunded Mr Abbas 50 percent of the monies that were taken.”
Abbas has reported the crime to Nottinghamshire Police and is waiting for the investigating officers to visit to the shop to view the CCTV footage of the incident.
A Nottinghamshire Police spokesman said: “We’re investigating a report of a fraud committed at an ice cream parlour in Radford Road, Nottingham.
“It happened at about 5.30pm on April 25. The offenders used a card machine to make a payment which was rejected but they managed to transfer funds from the victim’s account into their own account before leaving the shop.
“Our enquiries are ongoing, including checking any CCTV, and we’re appealing for anyone with any information to call us on 101, quoting incident number 233 of 26 April 2019, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Tony Blake, head of fraud prevention at UK Finance, the trade association for the UK banking and financial services sector, provides the following advice for small businesses.
“Don’t allow yourselves to be distracted while a payment is taking place.
“Always remain vigilant. Fraudsters operate everywhere. Report any suspicious behaviour immediately to your bank and retain CCTV as potential evidence.
“Ensure you have robust policies in place which limit who can carry out refunds.
“Always work with your card acquirer to ensure your policies can prevent fraudsters posing as genuine customers who are trying to manipulate the system.”