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How to Protect Your Business From Quick Change Artist Scams

One of the many security breaches that most retail business owners face is short/quick change artist scams.

Quick change scams are being pulled by individuals and teams of con artists every day. The victims are usually retail businesses with confused or disorganized cashiers. The quick change scam typically involves a con artist who confuses a cashier by paying with a large denomination bill, and then changing his mind several times about how he wants the change returned to him.

There are several things you can instruct your employees to do to avoid being taken by one of the quick change scam artist:

1) Watch out for teams. Typically, two people will work this scam together, and they may have help. Be wary if several people distract workers and customers near the cash register by asking questions while the main con artist pulls the scam.

2) Be cautious about customers who pay for small items with large denominations. Many businesses avoid this scam by only accepting denominations of $20 or lower. The typical quick change con artist pays for a low-cost item with a $100 bill and asks for change.

3) Stay focused when giving change to customers. The con artist will try to confuse you by telling you that he wants the change in a different way or that he changed his mind and wants to pay with a smaller bill instead. But this comes only after you have handed him the change for his initial payment. He confuses the cashier by keeping more money than he paid and walking out with it. Don’t give back his money, until he hands you the change you gave him. Count it before returning his bill.

4) No matter how many times he changes his mind, focus on collecting the customer’s money and making correct change. Keep the bill he gives you on the register in front of you. Slowly count out the change aloud as you place it into his hand. Count loudly enough so that others can see you and follow the transaction. If a coworker isn’t busy, signal them to stand near the register while you deal with the customer.  Plus it never hurts to have two sets of eyes on your business money.

5) Watch surveillance video, if you think your business has been the victim of a quick change scam. Surveillance cameras can catch the scam as it happens. Turn the tape over to police if you’ve been a victim, so they can try to recover your lost money.

If you are not sure that your business is properly prepared for dealing with a quick change artist scam talk to your safety coordinator or call American Fire & Security at 877-237-8918.

Stay Safe!

The Security Girl


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