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Once A Scam Artist…

, , , , , | Right | November 8, 2020

I’m working at the register one evening when a woman comes in and goes to look at the dog toys. I don’t think much of her, beyond saying hello, as I have a line of customers to ring out.

A few minutes later, she comes out of the aisle asking for help. One of my coworkers goes over to help, and again, I don’t think much of what’s going on, continuing to ring customers through.

Out of nowhere, she storms up to my register and tosses a toy on the counter. I miss most of what she says, but she’s definitely angry, and about every other word is an expletive.

Me: *Confused* “What?”

This seems to set her off again, and she starts ranting, again spouting expletives.

Customer: “Why you would have a f****** employee that doesn’t f****** know the f****** store?!”

My coworker steps back in.

Coworker: “Why are you cursing?”

I’m still thoroughly confused at this point, and I turn back to the customers I was helping when she came up. I’m trying to listen in on the conversation but miss most of it as I talk to the people in front of me.

She finally storms outside, still hurling expletives, and I turn to my coworker as he walks over to me:

Coworker: “She’s been in before and is blacklisted, as she and a man she’s usually with are known scammers. I fully expect her partner to come in soon after to try and continue the scam.”

Once he mentions this, I remember the last time I saw her. She and her partner had brought in several dog toys and a couple of aquarium decorations. I didn’t think much of it until the man said he’d bought ALL of the items for his dog. I was instantly suspicious, as the items were all unused, and there was no receipt.

I started the return, mainly to keep things from escalating too quickly, and since he didn’t have a receipt, I asked for his ID. He handed me a driver’s license with a hole punched in it. After I refused it, he showed me his temporary ID, printed from his computer. My manager was involved by then and explained that we could only accept a permanent state-issued ID.

He argued, going back and forth with my manager about how he thought the temporary ID should count. Eventually, he went out and sent the woman in since she had a valid ID. The manager saw, came over, and explained that she wouldn’t allow the return without a receipt, so they had to go back to the store they “bought” the items from so that store could look up the receipt and make the return.

The woman instantly turned hostile, hurling insults at my manager, demanding to see her boss — who wasn’t there at the time — then hurling even more insults when my manager told her when the boss would be in.

I’m hoping I’ll actually recognize her or her partner when they come in next, but I have a pretty lousy memory for faces, especially when I see hundreds every day. But you can guarantee they’ll bring back more stolen merchandise to “return,” since mine seems to be their favorite store.

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