Rock House, Cambridge Road, Hastings TN34 1DT 01424 230149.

Shop and pub staff asked to report misuse of Vanilla credit cards

Police are keen to hear from shops or pubs in the area who may have been defrauded by the use of invalid Vanilla Mastercards.

Officers know of four incidents so far. On 1 February two men used an invalid card for a meal worth over £100 at a pub in Chichester. Then on Wednesday 6 February similar cards were used at four shops in East Sussex – at Pontins and NISA in Camber, Salts Farm shop in Rye, where meat, tobacco and scratch cards were taken, and unsuccessfully at a Tesco shop in Little Common, Bexhill and again unsuccessfully at Costcutter in Fishmarket Road, Rye. At that shop, staff raised the alarm and officers stopped a car with two men nearby. A large quantity of fresh meat, along with tobacco, lottery scratch cards and some prepaid Vanilla cards were seized.

The cases may be related to other incidents at convenience stores in Hastings.

The men, aged 41 and 22, both from Portsmouth, were arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation and after being interviewed were released under investigation until 7 May.

Detective Constable Shelley Campbell of Hastings Investigations said; “If any shop or pub staff or managers recall such attempts that they have not yet reported to us, we ask them to contact us online or by calling 101, quoting serial 315 of 06/02.”

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