SHOP workers are being warned about fraudsters following a series of suspected thefts in Darlington and County Durham.

A string of incidents were reported in November at shops in Willington, Howden-le-wear, Consett, Chester-le-Street and Darlington

The suspect is believed to have used a technique named ‘ringing the changes’ – where the suspect will ask for a sum of money to be changed into notes or coins, for example one £20 nots to two £10 notes.

Read more: Suspected drink driver crashed into Heighington roundabout

On receipt of the cash, the suspect will hide the notes and intentionally deceive the cashier by stating they did not receive the notes convincing the cashier to hand over further cash.

Small business are now being reminded to be on the lookout for this scam.

PC Paul Canvin, from Crook response said: “These fraudsters are very convincing, using well-rehearsed scripts to get what they want.

“They will often target lone cashiers working in small convenience stores, newsagents and petrol stations.

“Please be wary and if you have your concerns, please get in touch - in an emergency, always dial 999.”

Anyone with information about these incidents or who is able to identify the suspect(s) is asked to contact PC Canvin via email

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or contact 01325 505054