A Not-So-Gifted Scam

, , , , , , | Working | June 1, 2018

(My grandparents give me a $20 gift card to a popular store for Christmas. I attempt to use the gift card a few weeks later on groceries.)

Me: *hands cashier the gift card when it’s time to pay* “I have a little gift card to use first.”

(The cashier rapidly types in numbers from the card, which I think is odd, because usually they just scan the card’s bar code. The computer gives an error.)

Cashier: “There’s nothing on the card.”

Me: “Really? It’s never been used.”

Cashier: “Yeah.” *he tosses the gift card under the register*

Me: “Oh… Okay.”

(While it seems strange, I consider that because my grandparents are elderly and forgetful, they might have accidentally given me an old gift card, so I don’t push back, and pay with a credit card. As we’re leaving, my boyfriend prods me and whispers in my ear.)

Boyfriend: “Get that card back.”

Me: *turning back to the cashier* “Excuse me? Can I have the empty card back, please?”  

(The cashier looks very inconvenienced, and shuffles through a box of old gift cards, making me almost tell him to forget it so the line doesn’t get held up.)

Boyfriend: “I think you put it under the register, bud.”

(The cashier turned and reluctantly reached under the register, and found my gift card. As he handed it to me, he looked around furtively. On the way home, I checked the gift card balance on my phone, and it said it had $20. I’m glad my boyfriend pushed me to get the card back, even if it was just twenty bucks! At first, I thought the cashier might have just made a mistake, but the whole thing, including him rapidly typing in the card’s number incorrectly to get a computer error, seemed really contrived in retrospect, so I later called the store to explain the situation. I haven’t seen that cashier in the months since.)

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