Self-Scam

, , , , , , , | Right | August 31, 2020

It’s 9:30 pm on a Friday night and I have thirty minutes left of my shift. I only have three other coworkers and my section leader with me. A coworker still needs a break, so we end up having to shut the one remaining till we have open and direct people to self-scan.

My section leader and I are busy reducing some bakery items that were forgotten earlier in the day, and with only thirty minutes to do a big trolley, we’re anxious to get it done.

A lady and her partner come up to customer service where we are doing the reductions and ask to be served there. Since we are both busy, we ask them to go to the self-scan machines.

The lady starts to get indignant, demanding we serve her on the desk or open a till. My section leader explains that we don’t have anybody for a till right now and that a coworker will happily help them through self-scan quickly.

They don’t like this answer and dump the basket of baby milk and the expensive hoover they’re holding. We’re a bit surprised at their reaction but figure they have a thing against self-scan. A moment later they come back and get the stuff and take it round to the cigarette kiosk, where one of my coworkers is serving a customer.

The kiosk isn’t fully manned after 8:00 pm, and we only go round to serve cigarettes and tobacco. My coworker refuses to put them through the till there, as she also doesn’t have the means to take off the security tag on the hoover. The lady thrusts some money at her and starts insisting she at least change some cash for her for smaller denominations.

At this point, red flags set in and my coworker instantly realises the money feels wrong and is fake. She refuses to change the cash and the customers storm out, obviously annoyed that their ploy has failed.

When we realised what had happened, the security guard went and got their car registration number for the police. He also laughed, as he recognised both of them as they lived a street over from him!

The reason they wouldn’t go to self-scans is that our self-scan machines have a cash intake that doesn’t accept notes if they are the wrong thickness, i.e. fake. They knew that their scam wouldn’t work on self-scan but they ironically came to the checkouts too late to be served on a checkout!

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