A MAN used cloned Debenhams gift cards to buy aftershave and perfume before being caught out.

The scam was discovered when shoppers tried to use gift cards but found the money had already been spent

George Moman, of Sheil Road in Liverpool, pleaded not guilty to fraud by false representation after he was arrested for using the fraudulent gift cards.

Justine McVitie, prosecuting, said: "In December, store manager Rhea Price became aware of a scam involving Debenhams gift cards.

"A customer who received a £50 gift card complained that when she had gone to use it, only £4.50 remained on the card."

After an investigation it was found that the card had been used in conjunction with another card in Warrington to the value of £65.70.

In March, the Debenhams store in Golden Square Shopping Centre received a similar complaint from a customer who had been given the card from an Asda in Liverpool but was told the card had already been spent in Warrington.

Ms Price, store manager, told the Warrington Magistrates' Court on Monday that she then checked the CCTV and noticed a man making the transaction.

Warrington Guardian: Warrington Crown Court

At the end of March, Ms Price noticed the same man trying to buy Thierry Mugler's Alien fragrance for £78.

He attempted to pay for the perfume with a £50 gift card and two £20 gift cards.

When Ms Price checked the unique card numbers, they did not match with those appearing on the till and she realised they were fraudulent.

She called the police and 35-year-old Moman was subsequently arrested.

Moman, of Romanian nationality, represented himself in court.

He said: "I have a job, I work and I bought the gift cards for half price from a man in the street. I didn't realise something was wrong with them."

Moman said he paid £150 for the gift cards thought to be worth between £300 and £400 from a Romanian man in Liverpool.

He added: "If I had known they weren't genuine I wouldn't have done it.

"He asked me if I wanted to buy clothes and things for myself with the cards."

Chairman of the magistrates Mr Burrows, ordered Moman to a pay fine of £971.55 after finding him guilty of fraud.