Friday, June 27, 2014

Be Careful Taking Money From These Tricksters

The guys depicted in the pictures below have a knack for trying to confuse cashiers into giving them more money than they're entitled to, or they'll simply take it when you're not paying attention.

So far we've had two separate reports, that we know of, where we believe it's possibly two people working together conducting a "quick change" scam on unsuspecting employees. In both incidences, the suspects were able to confuse the cashier by presenting a large bill and requesting multiple transactions, usually asking for different denominations back in change.

The whole transaction happens so fast that most people don't realize they've been ripped off until later when they go to balance their register at the end of the shift.

Our first case occurred back on June 17th at a local bakery. The suspect walked in and wanted to purchase a small cupcake. He was told they were out and that he'd have to buy a larger one. He decided he just wanted to buy a bottle of water instead and tried to pay for it with a $100 bill.

As the cashier was giving him the change, the suspect then had the epiphany to ask about any job openings and asked the employee to write the website down where he could apply online. The employee turned their back for a second to get some paper and didn't realize until later that he had taken back the original $100. He was able to get away with his $100 bill and another $100 in change that he defrauded the business of.

The second report came in on June 20th at a local coffee house. The suspect in that case also wanted to buy a bottle of water and gave the casher a $5 bill. As the employee was finishing up that transaction, the suspect pulls out his $100 bill and asks to get change for it. He then tries to confuse the employee several times by changing the denominations that he wanted back.

The suspect also had a desire to work at this business and asks several questions of the employee, obviously trying to further distract them. The employee never realized what had happened until later when their drawer was $100 short and surveillance video confirmed the suspect never handed the bill to the employee in the first place.

This second event took place a few minutes after an attempt was made on a nearby gas station cashier, but the suspect in that incident was unsuccessful.

Although $200 doesn't seem like a lot, quick-change artists usually aren't after a lot of money when they pull the scam - maybe $10 to $20, because the small amount doesn't arouse suspicion. If they keep hitting up unsuspecting businesses, the total can add up quickly.  

Anyone with information on the identity of these people is asked to call the Overland Park Police Departments Investigation Division at 913-344-8750.