A pair of alleged fraudsters said to be handing over fake £50 notes to local shops and black cab drivers in Hackney have been identified on social media by their victims.
The man and women, who are believed to be a father and daughter were recorded on CCTV footage by the café, By the Bridge, in Kingsland Road, Dalston last month. They can be seen paying for two bottles of beer with a £50 note, while engaging in small talk with the owner of the shop.
Ms Sezgin, the owner of the café, who wanted to be known by just her second name, claimed that the £50 note passed their blue light, pen and metal strip tests. It was only when the note was rubbed on some paper, part of the ink came off. A complaint has been lodged with the local police and Action Fraud UK, the UK’s national cyber crime and fraud reporting centre.
The cafe posted the CCTV footage on Twitter, prompting a number of other businesses to contact them with similar experiences.
Sezgin told ELL: “Since we reported the incident on Twitter, many local businesses and cab drivers have got in touch with us…which means that we’re just a small fish in the sea. To be able to recreate fine details of the note and to actively dupe individuals for such an extended period only shows that they are no ordinary criminals.”
The individuals have since been tracked down on social media, but have deleted their accounts. However, victims of the duo have circulated their pictures and screenshots of their accounts.
These two scumbags using fake notes. Hitting black cabbies as well as businesses. Beware let’s get them caught https://t.co/hiPhVYov4t
— By the Bridge Coffee (@BtB_Coffee) November 13, 2017
Bill Cutts, a cab driver in the area said: “Their usual modus operandi in taxis is to get in near Old Street roundabout and ask for the West End. A minute into the journey, they fake a phone call or an argument and want to get out. They tell the driver to take a fiver for the trouble and scarper.”
However, victims are concerned that police have so far not taken action.
Cutts added: “Whenever they show their faces, the driver will photograph them and tweet it and someone will invariably copy in the police. If they reply at all, its usually something like ‘You can report it here’ and you get a link. I’ve no idea what comes of it, because they’re never caught.”
Hackney police responded to one of the complaints on Twitter with an image of a counterfeit note seized during a stop and search, but have confirmed that it is not related to this particular incident.
Since their last reported sighting in Hackney, the pair are said to have targeted clothing and flower shops in Essex and Chingford, in north east London.
Scotland Yard said it did not wish to comment on the case.