Police Warn Stores of Quick Change Scam

Store clerks are advised to be on the lookout for quick-change artists. These are shoppers who pay for a small item with a large bill, typically a $100 note, and substitute a smaller bill like a $1 at the last second. A convenience store clerk in LaPorte fell for such a scam last week, according to police there. Two men came into the BP station on Lincolnway, stood around for awhile and walked in and out of the restroom. One of the men bought a muffin, pulled out a $50 to pay, distracted the clerk during the transaction and changed the bill to a $5.

Store clerks are advised to watch out for teams of two or more people, particularly those who try to distract the cashier while someone in their party is paying. Other quick-change scammers will pay with a large bill and change their mind several times about how they want their change returned to them, then pocket extra money and leave the store. Keep the bill the customer gave you on the register in front of you, slowly count out the change out loud as you place it in the customer’s hand, and don’t give back the customer’s money until he gives you the change you gave him. If possible, signal for a coworker to stand near the register and watch the transaction. If your store has a surveillance video system and is the victim of such a scam, turn the tapes over to the police immediately so they can try to recover your lost money.