Archived Someone tried to quick-change scam me today

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NickVo

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Hey guys, today was only about my 6th or 7th day working at Target as a cashier. I thought I would share my experience with a scammer today.

He only bought a pack of gum, worth 5 dollars or something. He handed me a 100 so I was instantly suspicious. I checked the bill, it seemed ok, so I thought he just wanted to break the 100. Right as I put the bill in the register, he told me really quickly that he wanted to pay with other bills. He talked really fast to try and confuse me, like: "waitwaitwait- i-have-different-bill-"

I told him sorry after I hit change for 100 I can't accept anything different. He said ok, as I was giving him his 95 in change he asked for a different set of bills or something again; I gave him the same reply. He walked out pretty fast.

I told my GSTL, he radioed to AP and some uniformed AP guy came and confirmed the bill was legit. Then he told me nice work, they had the guy on camera.

I'm pretty happy because I didn't fall for some cheap scam and because I had no redcards today, so that kind of made up for it.

Anyone else here have run ins with this scam?
 

watchdog9000

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^^You handled that really well^^

I've had guests try to change out other bills while I was in the process of counting out their change, which in itself doesn't seem suspicious. However, this is one of the ways they can get you, so we were always told to send guests to Guest Services if they wanted to break up bills.

Also had a guest try to pay with some very wet "20 dollar bills" that stuck together, and all had the same serial number. After I told him I couldn't accept the bills he booked it out of there pretty quick! Sadly that very night as I was banking the lanes I found wet "20's" on another register that one of our greenhorns took earlier in the day.
 
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This happened to me at a pizza place I used to work at. I knew what he was doing the whole time because I had talked to my sister about it. However, being young and thinking that no criminal could be smarter than me, I went along with it. We went back and forth a few times and I realized as soon as he left that he had gotten about 50 bucks. I wish I had been putting the money off to the side in the register.
 
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Barcode

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@OP

I've had this happen too, and to other cashiers as well.. It was an AP hot topic for a while at my store.

You handled it well :)
 
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Yeah, definitely stay focused with the money.

The real guests, your GSAs and leaders will thank you, and you'll thank yourself, for obvious reasons.

As for all the, 'oh, but I have a ten/twenty/let me give you fifty cents and you give me back my fifty ( nonexistent ) dollars' scammers, the polite but FIRM approach usually gets 'em.

A lot of them scope out places and look for cashiers that they think are easily frazzled or distracted, such as new faces, or people who seem rather unassuming for various reasons.

Side note: this is partially why I still employ the fairly outdated practice of counting back change to guests.
 
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First, GREAT JOB! The people who do that can be pretty slick.

When I count large amounts of change out. I always leave what they gave me on top the register and then just like a casino cash cage, I lay out the money in $100 increments. For example, Guest gives $400 for a sale of $356.20 I would pull the bills; 3-ones, 2- twenty's, and then the coins; 3 quarters and 1 nickel. I put the coins in their hand. Then the bills I lay out like a fan on the counter starting with the largest bills first. So, I count the twenty's then the ones. Once they see it and verify with you. I pick it back up and put it in their hand.

I do the same thing when dealing with change at Guest Service. Lay their original money on the top of the register. Then open drawer pull change lay out in increments and fan out so they see the bills. Then gather up hand off the change and return their original money they gave to me to the drawer.
 

commiecorvus

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When I started working registers I was trained to count back change and I still do it.
I was also taught to leave the money on top of the drawer and close it before I do any other transactions.
The quick change artists tend to back off the minute you close that drawer.
 
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I figure with all of the cameras around, there's no need to leave the money on top of the register (that practice is discouraged at our store). Now, back when I worked at the restaurant and the register money and figuring out totals and change back was all done by hand, then yes, the money did not go back in the drawer until I had counted up the change back to the customer.
 

mathprofmatt

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My worst fear is that stupid "You saved $xx.xx today" blue box that pops up on cash transactions with $5+ in savings. Every once in awhile I see that number and start counting that back as the change, but I always catch myself.
 
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We always get the guests that want to pay for a $2 item with a $100 bill. I usually tell them I "have to call for change" and miraculously, they come up with a smaller bill. It's almost as if they think we're gullible because we're in the pharmacy and probably don't ring out that many people. Little do they know that we deal with liars and BSers on a daily basis and they're LESS likely to get anything past us ;)
 
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I had a customer today that bought something that was only $1.9x and paid with a $50 bill. I gave him back his change and, for some unknown reason, watched his hands as he was leaving my register. I saw him slip one of his 20s in his pocket and he tried to tell me I only gave him one $20 bill. I flat-out told him "Dude, you just put the other twenty in your pocket." He tried to act like he didn't realize and "apologized". Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure he's the same customer that I had run into the same "issue" with about a month ago. That time, I didn't know for sure if I gave him back the wrong change. I was going to have a GSTL come out and count my drawer, if need be. At that point, he suddenly found his other twenty.
 
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A few weeks ago, I was working at guest service and a guest came up and wanted to make a return. It ended up being a cash return of over $100, so I glanced at the receipt and noticed the initial purchase had been made only about ten minutes prior, and it was a cash purchase of about $500. I went ahead and gave him the money for the return, but immediately notified AP after he left.

About twenty minutes later, I got a very similar situation (don't know if it was the same man), so alerted AP again.

We all thought it was pretty fishy.

I guess they investigated it a bit further, but nothing was off with the bills from the original payment.

Still... gotta be on alert for these kinds of things. Never know what the guests are gonna try to pull!
 
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Great job! Its been eons since I had to cashier for any length of time, but I always remember my OLD WalMart training. If you feel like they are trying to confuse you, simply shut the drawer. Shutting the drawer stops a quick change artist.
 
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Keep your cool, count the change back, never agree to make change for a bunch of different bills that don't factor into the transaction equation, and...

All else failing, you can always politely, discreetly, and with the ( ahem ) ultimate of guest service in mind, call for backup. Trainers, GSAs, Team Leads, AP....pthey are not to be called upon at all times, but they ARE there for a reason...

( I've had more than a few potential fraudsters help themselves find the exit once I called someone to help me verify a check, traveler's check, etc... )
 

mrknownothing

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Great job! Its been eons since I had to cashier for any length of time, but I always remember my OLD WalMart training. If you feel like they are trying to confuse you, simply shut the drawer. Shutting the drawer stops a quick change artist.

One of my GSTLs told us to do the same. She also told us to slam the drawer if anyone tries to reach inside. If the person is injured, too bad - they shouldn't have been trying to take money out of the drawer.
 
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We've all of a sudden had these quick-change scam people coming into my store these past few days! What's with these people? So random! The sad part is we DEFINITELY have some cashiers that would fall for it in a heartbeat and there's NO explaining to them how to avoid it... -_-
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
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Jun 10, 2011
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We've all of a sudden had these quick-change scam people coming into my store these past few days! What's with these people? So random! The sad part is we DEFINITELY have some cashiers that would fall for it in a heartbeat and there's NO explaining to them how to avoid it... -_-

Sounds like you guys need some AP presence at the front end. Make sure every cashier (especially the noobs) knows what to do in this situation.
 
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