I caught a scammer the other day at work. After having read some tips that had been passed around by email to all the local stores, I was on-the-ball enough to call a supervisor when a younger guy, about 20, came in trying to buy $1000 worth of our store’s gift cards on a Visa card. I told him “Just a precaution,” and he said “No problem.” Of course, immediately after saying that it was no problem, he got a cell phone call and sounded panicked, yelling “Where?? Okay, I’ll be right there.” He quickly turned to me and said, “Someone just crashed into my car, can you keep those aside for me??” Sure, bud. Although, your asking your imaginary cell phone friend ‘where’ your car was smashed into was rather suspect, as you’d think you’d have some idea where you last parked your car. So he got away, of course, but we know who he is now.
He had apparently first asked our assistant manager if we had a Post Office, which is where the prior scammers usually tried this such stuff, and panicked when supervisors were called to verify their ID.
I tell this story because it makes me feel good inside that someone didn’t scam $1000 out of either us, or an unsuspecting victim of credit card fraud. Even if it probably did work out for him at some other store, we now have him on our Wall of Shame with our other photos, for example, of people who take things off the shelf and try to return them moments later without a receipt with sob stories of their grandfather just having died of a coma yesterday (why would returning a container of vitamins be first on your To-Do List after your gramps had died anyway?). Ahh, people.
I also tell this story because of how naive I normally am, and how I would never suspect a nice-enough person of trying to steal $1000 unless I’d read those warning emails. I grew up seeing the general ‘good’ in every person, regardless of how bitchy I am about how stupid a lot of them tend to be. I’m never suspicious of people as thieves, just as jerks. And the thieves are always real, real good at pretending not to be jerks.
Just goes to show. There are scammers in this world other than the ones who try to con you into joining Primerica. (Which also happened to me this week.)