A striking blonde woman has caused a scandal in a sleepy market town – by doing a runner from a series of beauty businesses without paying for treatments.
The woman has hit at least three local independent businesses in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, allegedly walking away without paying for botox, a haircut and a facial costing £500.
In each case she booked under a fake name of Sophie Brown then having attended her appointment told staff she needed to get her bank card from the car before leaving.
Emily Curtis who runs Ooh La La hairdressing says the woman walked out yesterday without paying for a three-hour £160 cut and highlights claiming she needed to get her bank card from her car.
She left her handbag which they later discovered was empty and still had a price tag on.
The woman (pictured) has hit at least three local independent businesses in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, allegedly walking away without paying for botox, a haircut and a facial costing £500
In each case she booked under a fake name of Sophie Brown then having attended her appointment told staff she needed to get her bank card from the car before leaving
Emily said: ‘She was perfectly nice but when it came to the bill my stylist Beka tried to take payment which declined then she said she didn’t know the pin but wanted to get her other card from her car.
‘After five minutes we thought maybe we should look in the bag but there was nothing but tobacco in it and that’s when we thought she wasn’t coming back.
‘It’s bad because everybody here is self-employed and we are a close family. Anything like this is just horrible because it’s Beka’s earnings this girl is taking but we are going to give her what she would have made anyway.’
After posting about the woman walking out yesterday afternoon, Emily has been inundated with messages of support with one man visiting to hand them £20 as well as some identifying the woman.
She said: ‘It’s unbelievable somebody can do this to small businesses because we put so much work into our clients. She’s like a one woman crimewave.
‘It’s not really about the money, we’ve accepted the loss of that but if she’s done it to others I want her to not be able to do this to other businesses.’
But MailOnline can reveal she has targeted at least two other businesses in the Suffolk town – one just minutes before.
Earlier yesterday afternoon the same woman allegedly walked out without paying for £200 botox treatment at Enhanced Faces UK in the town.
Sophia Lorenzo, 31, who has owned the business for six years, said: ‘She used a fake address and number on the booking form and she looked completely different to her profile picture.
‘When she contacted me to book I asked to go online and make a reservation as that’s how we take deposits but she said she couldn’t as she was dyslexic.
‘She sent me a screenshot to prove she had paid the deposit but on the morning of the appointment I noticed the money hadn’t come in.
‘When it came to pay I told her about the deposit and she said she would get her card from the car to pay.
Emily Curtis who runs Ooh La La hairdressing (pictured) says the woman walked out yesterday without paying for a three-hour £160 cut and highlights claiming she needed to get her bank card from her car
She left her handbag which they later discovered was empty and still had a price tag on
‘I sat there and just had this feeling she isn’t coming back and when I went out to the car park she was gone.
Losing the money isn’t good but it’s more I’ve lost trust in people. As a business it makes you not trust other clients and now I’m thinking of having to take cash up front.
‘It’s my money and it’s my time. It’s knocked my confidence a lot. You don’t expect to have that.’
The woman – wearing all black – is said to have been driven to the shops in a green pickup truck.
Several weeks earlier on October 26 ‘Sophie Brown’ is said to have done exactly the same after receiving a £140 hydrafacial treatment at the Hestier Clinic in the town.
Clinic owner Lauren Aristotelous, 33, said: ‘She had a high-end treatment with all the premium extras and when it came to pay she said she’d forgotten her card but offered to bank transfer.
‘She showed me a fake screenshot and I was there on my own so I didn’t feel I could do much. I said it’s not gone in, have you got other means to pay? She said her phone’s not working but would pay by the end of the day.
‘We’re normally fully booked so she’s not just not paid but she’s taken the spot of perhaps two other people who would.’
Lauren says she reported it to Suffolk Police but was told they wouldn’t help because it was a civil matter
She added: ‘I was shocked when I saw Ooh La La’s Facebook post, I recognised her instantly and messaged them.
‘I feel bad because it happened to me first but I didn’t do anything. Because we’re a medical practice I’m terrified of publishing personal details of clients.
‘It’s the absolute audacity of it, it’s so unusual for this area. She has got away with it because we have trust in our customers. She obviously just doesn’t care.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail