POLICE in Pembrokeshire are investigating a series of frauds totalling nearly £20,000 that were carried out by a con-man gang in the south of the county on Monday

The first incident happened at a business in St Florence at around 4.30pm.

A group of four men believed to be of South Asian descent, committed a distraction fraud stealing £6,000.

At approximately 7.15pm, two men visited a hotel in the Tenby area for food and were joined by three other men.

One of the men was described as black, tall and thin. He was wearing a black baseball cap, a dark-coloured North Face gilet and dark trainers.

They distracted the member of staff and attempted to defraud the business of £4,500. The member of staff realised the suspicious behaviour and the suspects made off.

At around 9pm a group of around five men entered the Belgrave Hotel in Tenby.

They used two separate cards to book a room.

They used a distraction technique to then refund a total of £9,000 onto one of the cards.

Milford Mercury:

One of the men took the hotel card machine after a distraction technique, and refunded £9,000 onto a card. PICTURE: The Belgrave Hotel Tenby.

Hotel business manager Paul McGrath told the Western Telegraph that the card terminal was taken from the reception area while the receptionist took one of the men up to the room.

Another gang member then took the terminal to the toilets where he carried out the refund transactions.

The hotel’s CCTV video, which shows the men, has been shared over 850 times on Facebook.

Added Mr McGrath: “My immediate concern was to highlight this to everyone and put out a warning that these people are around.

“In our case, the transactions were highlighted by the terminal provider and also picked up by us, but in smaller establishments, that may not be the case until too late.”

The men were all described as being of South Asian descent and aged between 25 and 30 years old. One had a bushy beard. They were all dressed casually in jeans and sweatshirts. One was wearing a North Face puffer jacket.

Milford Mercury:

The Belgrave Hotel, Tenby. PICTURE: Google Maps.

At around 9.30pm, three men visited another hotel in the Saundersfoot area.

Two of the men were described as black, the other was described as being of South Asian descent.

They were all dressed casually.

They booked a room and then ordered a drink in the bar.

They again used a distraction technique and managed to refund a significant amount of money to their payment card.

PC Christian Rowlands said: “These incidents are being treated as linked and are thought to have been carried out by a group of travelling criminals that have targeted Pembrokeshire. We are carrying out all possible enquiries, including working with other police forces, to identify the suspects who carried out these crimes.

“Business owners and their staff are being urged to be extra vigilant at this time. Particularly, check payment cards and ensure workspace areas where there are tills or payment points are not left unattended at any time.

“If anybody sees anything suspicious or has further information about these incidents please report it to us immediately.”

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: bit.ly/DPPReportOnline, by email at: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20190903-136.