Waterloo regional police are asking for the public’s help to locate several men of interest in connection with a recent rash of quick-change scams at grocery stores in the region.
Investigators have released photos of three men captured on store video surveillance cameras in connection with the quick-change theft schemes in hopes of identifying and speaking to them.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police service’s fraud unit at 519-570-9777, ext. 8380 or ext. 8381, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Meanwhile, fraud investigators are trying to educate local retailers to better ensure employees don’t fall victim to the scheme. Quick-change scam artists, who often target inexperienced cashiers, confuse employees through a series of speedy money exchanges while distracting them with conversation.
The scheme usually sees scam artists pay for a small-priced item using a large bill, but before the cashier can provide change, they create confusion by asking for the particular denomination of bills in return. Police say the scammers, who often work in pairs, add another layer of distraction when a second-team member verbally engages the employee during the transaction. Successful scammers walk away with extra, undetected cash, and shortages aren’t discovered until later in an employee’s shift.
To help prevent falling victim to a quick-change artist, police recommend retailers:
• adhere to strict cash policies and keep a tidy, organized work area;
• do not give change unless completing a point of sale transaction;
• place customer bills flat on top of a cash drawer where it can be seen by all parties while making change;
• place all money in the proper cash tray slot once a transaction is complete;
Read the original story over at the Cambridge Times.