Trading standards officers in Swindon have closed down a popular tattoo parlour in Swindon High Street which specialized in "invisible tattoos".
Swindon Trading Standards officer, Mike Owen, explained that "the shop had been open for six months and was very popular with teenagers who were often too timid to have a normal tattoo because of parents' disapproval. So they would go to the Invisible Tattoo shop, pay upwards of 30 pounds for a tattoo that was supposed to be only visible under ultraviolet light".
"We got contacted when one of the customers complained that they couldn't see their tattoos at all - even under a sunray lamp. It was then that we discovered that a lot of teenagers had been conned"
"What actually happened was that after selecting their tattoo design, the teenagers were taken into a darkened room while a man scraped a part of their back using a drawing pin on the end of a stick while making a realistic buzzing sound. It sounded and felt painful enough to be like having a real tattoo but nothing other than a few scratches were actually created."
"The clever part of the con was showing them the designs on their back in a mirror illuminated by a black light, but the chosen design was actually attached to the mirror. They were then told that the tattoo would fade by the time they got home".
A local man has been charged by Trading Standards with fraud and deceit, although many of the victims' parents actually thought he was a hero and should be released.