Fraudster caught in Sheffield using cloned card at Meadowhall's River Island store

A fraudster was foiled buying clothes at Meadowhall’s River Island store with a counterfeit bank card as she plotted to get a cash refund at another branch.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 4:43 pm

Sheffield Crown Court heard on October 21 how Trish Mareyeni, aged 21, bought £395 worth of clothing from the Meadowhall River Island store with a suspicious, cloned, counterfeit bank card which had a code linked to a previous fraudulent transaction.

Stephanie Hollis, prosecuting, said an eagle-eyed staff member had been aware of fraudulent offences at River Island stores across the country involving customers purchasing hundreds of pounds of goods with counterfeit, cloned cards and then getting refunds at different branch stores paid into different, genuine bank card accounts.

Ms Hollis pointed out that there had been as many as 33 similar types of transactions involving £14,698 of cash between October 2019 and January 2020, but not all of these had been carried out by this defendant.

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Sheffield Crown Court heard how a fraudster was caught at a River Island clothing store, at Meadowhall Shopping Centre, in Sheffield, pictured, during a counterfeit bank card scam

Care worker Mareyeni, of High Street, Birmingham, was detained by security staff who found receipts and three fraudulent and counterfeit bank cards on the defendant including the one used on January 13, 2020, at the Meadowhall River Island store.

The defendant, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing articles used in frauds, namely three counterfeit bank cards, and she admitted three counts of fraud after she had gone to stores and obtained goods and was then refunded money at other branches.

Preet-Paul Tutt, defending, said: “There is no evidence she knew how many people were involved, how many victims there were or how long these frauds were taking place.”

He added: “She was struggling at the time financially. She saw a post on Instagram to earn money with minimum risks and she was lured into this and she deeply regrets her actions.”

Mr Tutt said: “This is a person who now has a serious blemish upon her record and she will have to deal with the consequences of that as she moves forward in her life.”

He added that the offences were committed some 21 months ago and the defendant has since remained out of trouble.

Recorder Mark Cooper sentenced Mareyeni to a 12-month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 105 hours of unpaid work.

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