Here’s one for the books. Rajesh Ganatra rang with a puzzle that would try Sherlock. A man came into his store, Sweet News in Luton, with a roll of notes in his hands – £80-90. He started moving around the shop, picking up some tea, sugar and so on and asked Rajesh’s wife for two Vodafone top-ups of £20 each. She, generally very cautious, could see he could pay for them so she processed the vouchers while he continued to move around picking up more shopping.
When she finished the transaction she put the vouchers under the counter.
Then he asked for some tobacco which the Ganatras do not stock. He said I’ll have to check with my friend, left the shopping where it was and went outside.
He never came back. When they phoned PayZone to cancel the top-ups they were told well, tough luck, but you can flog them to someone else.
When a regular customer came in shortly afterwards Raj sold her one of the vouchers. She came back a little later saying it didn’t work. So he gave her the other one and that didn’t work either. The phone kept rejecting it.
Then the customer got a message from Vodafone telling her that those two vouchers had been activated within five minutes of ‘purchase’.
The original customer had no visible mobile on him, nor camera and anyway, never stood still long enough.
Vodafone told Raj it wasn’t possible. When he reported it to Action Fraud the squad said Vodafone wasn’t being very helpful.
The couple even have the mobile phone number that somehow used the vouchers. A woman answered and said wrong number.