Scam me once, shame on me...

Scam me twice, I called the cops

So here’s what happened…
My register girl comes back to me and my father this morning, handed us a package of breaded fish and said that a customer didn’t like it wanted to return it. My dad asked how he knew he didn’t like it, it’s still in tact. She said that he bought two of them and didn’t like the first one so he’s wants to return it. Oh, okay.
Dad walks out there and asks the guy what the problem was. He said it was too salty and tasted awful. Okay, no problem, do you have the receipt? “No I threw it away with the other fish, it was awful.”
(quick note, it’s a small family business, we gurantee everything and we’re pretty easy going with our return policy)
Dad hands him the money back, and we both knew something was wrong, they guy was acting real strange, but we couldn’t put our finger on it.
Dad goes to put the fish back in the case and noticed the case was missing one package.
Dammit, he just grabbed it from the case and brought it up to the counter and pretened to return it and got money for it.
Oh, well, shit happens, we’ve been had, let’s move on.

Later this afternoon, a different register girl comes back to me and said someone wants to return two packages of cookies. Okay, so I walk out there.
“Was there a problem?”
“Yeah, I bought three packages of these cookies and their way too salty, the ingrediants don’t say anything about salt, so I wanted to return them.”
“Sir, they’re butter cookies, the second ingredient is butter, they might taste like salt. Maybe you should call the bakery that makes them”
“Well I talked to Joe (the owner) on the phone and he said I could just bring them back in and return them”
I asked him to wait while I called Joe to confirm this
I walked in back called Joe (my dad), he said he had no idea what I was talking about, he didn’t talk to anyone about returning cookies, and come to think about it, that was the same thing the guy in the morning said about the fish, it’s too salty. Joe told me to go and tell the guy to call the bakery and deal with them, there’s nothing we can do about that. (BTW did I mention these cookies are $6 per container, oh, and there where none missing from the container, he obviosly didn’t try them)
So I go back out there and he’s gone. I asked where he was and the reg girl said he went to his car to get the receipt. About five minutes later he still hadn’t come back in, and the girl told me he was parked near the door and his car was gone.
Oh, and the cookies are still sitting at the register.
What an idiot. If he had just taken the cookies with him and told the girl he was in a hurry and he’d stop back later, I wouldn’t have given it another thought, but who comes in with 12 dollars worth of cookies and dosen’t leave with either the cookies or the money.
So I called the cops explained to them that we are 90% sure we got scammed in the morning and 90% sure we almost got scammed again, and probably about 90% sure it was either the same person (I don’t remember what the person looked like in the morning, but this guy acted similar, all weird and anxious)or the same ‘group’.
Lukily a few of the employees said they would recognize him if he came back in and the register girl will recognize the car.
The cop told us that if he comes back in to keep him there as long as possible and call the police. No problem, if I see his car, I’ll block him in with the forklift, if he wants to leave before the cops get there, he can run.
As I was telling the cop how embarressed I’d be if it turns out that I’m wrong, my reg girl mentioned that when I called Dad, he left in quite a hurry. Now I know he was trying to rip us off.
So all of my employees have been warned, NO returns with out a receipt unless Dad or I are there to do it, and if this guy shows up to re-claim his cookies, tough, he can wait until morning to get them back.
Still I have to think, if he had just taken the cookies when he left I wouldn’t have thought much more of it.
There’s a bunch of small business in the area, so I’m guessing I’m not the only person who got hit by this tool. I encourged the officer to go to some of the other places around town and ask them if anything similar happened. He said he would stop back if anyone else got hit.
Like I told the officer, I’m not expecting them to go out looking for this guy, but if they do catch someome doing it at another store, I want our name mentioned in the report as well.

(You’ll have to excuse my grammer, it goes out the window in my mini rants.)

Could be worse. You could have quick-change artists hitting your place up.

You guys should come up victorious, though.

The only good thing about thieves is that often they are stupid. When I worked in a used book store a few years ago, we mostly dealt in cheap paperbacks, but we carried a few pricey rare books. Once a guy stole one of the rare books and the next day returned to our store to try to sell it. The idiot hadn’t even taken it out of the transparent wrapper that had our store’s price tag on it.

We’ve had a few of those over the years.
The rule is, as soon as you lose track of count, or start getting confused, you call in a manager to get it sorted out. The problem is, most employees don’t know it’s happening utill it’s over, if the even realized it happened.

The worst was a counterfeit $100 bill. We have a counterfeit marker, but this one tested okay. We didn’t know it was fake until we got to the bank and they pointed out that even though the bill said 100, the strip said $5. They bleached the bill and reprinted it. So now when an employee takes a fifty or hundred, they not only have to check for the strip but they must see the actual number on the strip and the watermark has to match.

Ahh, the joys of running your own business.

At my college it was common to steal students books and sell them back to the bookstore. So if a book was ever stolen, the first thing students where told to do is let the bookstore know. One person got theirs back because dumbass theif left all the post-it bookmarks in it.
I always circled certain pages. For example, if my SSN is 328-52-7453
I would circle page numbers 328,52,74 and 53. I figured that would be a pretty easy way to identify it as mine. I didn’t want to put anything in there that would make the theif realize it’s marked (like my name) and throw it away.

At the last retail job I worked at, there were a few popular scams that idjits tried to pull. The most popular was that someone would come in one day and buy a CD or a game or small piece of easily accessible hardware and take it out of the store. Then they would come back in – usually the next day at a different time of day to maximize the chances that the same people aren’t working who might remember them, go on to the floor, pick up whatever they bought the last time, then bring it to the returns counter with the receipt from the last time and try to return the product. We were pretty hip to that scheme though.

Bit of a hijack - I’m curious what happens in the bank. If you were some random schmuck that they suspected of pulling a scam, I guess the cops would be called right away. But the bank teller probably recognizes you, yes? When they stumble over the counterfit, how does the conversation go? What happens to be bill? Do you make a statement to the police or other?

What’s a quick-change artist? I thought those were the people that change their clothes really fast.

I got hit by one of these guys on my first week on the job at a movie theater (if I’m talking about the same thing as the others here). They’ll do something like give you a $20, then you start making change. Then they’ll say “oh, wait, can I give you a $10 instead?”, then you start putting money back and recalculating. Then they throw in a bit of change into the mix, so you throw your change back in the drawer and grab another bill, then they do another switch-a-roo, totally confusing new or inexperienced employees. They notice you’re confused, and see both hands full with various change from various exchanges, and with a line forming behind him he says something like “forget it, here, just give me the original $15.20 and we’re even”. Anxious to get him to leave and take his word for it, you hand him the amount he asked for, not noticing you gave him more change than the $10 he gave you before, plus he may have even yanked some of the money you’d left on the counter while you were digging in your drawer to accommodate him.

Anyway, because of this fast-talking dude who hit me, my drawer was short something like $7. Pretty risky at a movie theater, since then this guy was stuck in a room for 2 hours if I’d caught the mistake. I didn’t catch it until counting my drawer out at the end of my shift, and I’d known immediately what happened. The whole exchange felt “wrong”, but as a naive 16 year old, I wasn’t about to challenge the guy or delay the rest of the line. That’s how they operate.

Wow. I never knew that this was a common-enough scam that it had its own name. I, too, would have thought that a ‘quick-change artist’ was somehow realated to a stripper. Consider ignorance fought! :slight_smile:

Yeah, the bank knows me, so it isn’t a problem. They keep the bill, I lose all the money (though some people think I should have been credited $5, since it was a $5 bill) and they turn it over to the police or secret service. I went back to work and called our local police to let them know so they can keep an eye out for it as well.

I have a friend who worked in convenience stores for a loooong time. She may have gotten caught the first time she met one of these guys. After that, she usually just slammed the till shut if someone started up with this.

The last time a quick-changer came in to her store, it was a slow night. (They usually try to hit busy times when cashiers are more easily distracted.) Instead of refusing to co-operate, she played back.

Ended up making about $15.