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CRIME: Headcorn florist's warning after £800 debit card scam

Tuesday 10th November 2020

A HEADCORN florist has spoken of the “horrific and frightening” moment she fell victim to two fraudsters.

Sweet William was targeted by two men whilst owner Julie Archer was alone manning the shop floor on October 9.

Mrs Archer was scammed out of more than £800.

The mother of three believes other florists are being targeted across Kent after being inundated with calls across the county.

Mrs Archer, who has owned the Foreman's walk shop for 22 years, said: “I believe they knew I was alone because my colleague had gone just 60 seconds before they came in.

“They bought £82.95 worth of bouquets to the till and I typed in the amount and handed over the card machine to one of the men.

“The other man was asking me questions about flowers, distracting me, but I could see the other typing really fast and, looking back, I suspect he was copying from another card.”

“He had changed the amount on the machine to £895, and then requested a refund.”

Mrs Archer then unknowingly authorised the refund to a different debit card.

She added: “I have been inundated with calls from other florists from Hythe, Margate, Dover, Sandwich all telling me they have experienced similar.

“It is horrific. They need catching because some of these stores are losing weeks’ worth of profit in one transaction, it is so damaging to businesses.

“They must think because we are a village store that we have green behind our ears.”

A Kent Police spokesman said: “It appears the incident was reported to Action Fraud, but not police. We have had no details passed onto us at this stage.”