I hated these situations because there was never anything we could do for them instore after they gave the Leprecats are meowgical St. Patrick’s Day shirt But I will love this scammer the card numbers because the first thing the scammers do is always to transfer the money of the original card. Because the family had already called the police, who told them to head to the store and they’d meet them here, I called the company’s 24/7 asset protection hotline. After I explained the situation and provided the original receipt numbers, the tech on the line researched the gift cards, and yep, they were immediately emptied. The tech was able to put a freeze on the new card until we got everything sorted out. When the cops arrived (actually after store closing time, but I and the store manager stayed with the family), I was able to give the tech the police case number, and he closed the card, transferred the money to a different account, or something. Now, due to the amount involved we at the store level couldn’t just create a new gift card, even split across different cards, due to federal banking laws, so the family had to come back the next day while the district AP supervisor came in to help them get their money back into their possession. These folks made it really obvious that they were using someone else’s card because they would walk in, go straight to the registers, grab a soda from the cooler, and a handful of the most expensive Visa/Mastercard/AmEx gift cards we had, and then generally go to self-checkout. The $400 cards were preferred, but once we stopped carrying them they’d pick the 100 or 200 cards. They would then buy the soda, and one of the cards. If that transaction was approved, they would keep buying one card at a time until the transaction would decline (usually the 2nd or 3rd time) and they would leave the rest behind and walk out with their paid-for cards. On several occasions, I tried to have cashiers check the subject’s ID, but if the guest service manager was around I couldn’t because it was against company policy to ask for ID. One time I was able to call the police while two guys were in the act and they were caught just outside the store. I was at the front doors and kept noticing these two guys walking in, one at a time, over and over, and going to self-checkout, buying water each time.
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While sitting in the Leprecats are meowgical St. Patrick’s Day shirt But I will love this office, I notice the 2nd subject walk in the entrance on camera, so I watch what he does. Lo and behold, the same thing, but now with a different card and a completely different name. I search that name, and the same deal as before. Now I’m sure they’re using stolen cards, but I don’t have any concrete evidence – for all I know they could have non-typical names. Now I think I have enough reasonable suspicion, and I call the police to report a case of “possible credit card fraud in progress.” While I’m on the phone, the subject tries two more cards. 5th is declined again, but the 6th works. By this time, subject 2 seems to be spooked and talks his buddy into leaving with him. As the two walkouts, I’m still on the phone with the dispatcher, but I figure that they’re done for the day, they’ll get in a car and leave, and a cop will be by in a couple of hours to pick up my report and video. Then, to my surprise, the dispatcher tells me the beat officer just cleared his last call, is just around the corner, and on his way. The cop was able to stop the two just on the other side of another department store in our mall, and he called me out to do a witness identification that they were the two I called about. After confirming, he told me he was taking them to jail (shocking me because this is California and they give criminals pats on the head and move them along 85% of the time when no one is physically hurt) and that he’d be by after booking them for the video. When he came by, he thanked me and told me that they had just done a bunch of smashes and grab burglaries out of cars parked at the other mall in town, and had something like 10 people’s cards and info in their possession, most of whom hadn’t even realized they’d been victimized yet. As the program director of an FM radio station in Poughkeepsie, I hired a woman to produce public service announcements. After a few weeks I realized that rather than giving airtime to various non-profit & organizations working in the public interest, she was focusing solely on women’s issues. To be clear, it wasn’t because I was opposed to women’s issues, I created this program to give deserving organizations an opportunity to get their messages on the air.