Scammer has thousands of dollars practically handed to her.
April 9, 2002 2:09 PM   Subscribe

Scammer has thousands of dollars practically handed to her. "She says she needs money, then claims she knows the manager or store owner and suggests the clerk call the boss. The woman talks on the phone for a time, then hangs up, saying that she has permission to take the money." Clever.
posted by Kevin Sanders (11 comments total)
She's not clever. The clerks are just idiots.
posted by bingo at 2:36 PM on April 9, 2002

Yeah, I suppose it is. It seems like she robs only the "cheap" stores we have around here... like Git 'n' Go. People at places like QuikTrip aren't that stupid.

Moreover, these stores are probably around where I live... a high-crime area where the clerks aren't that bright.

Even more moreover, QuikTrip clerks around here sometimes get $.60/hr hazard pay. It's either .60 or .80.
posted by Kevin Sanders at 2:50 PM on April 9, 2002

What is going on in the phone conversation that the boss doesn't want to talk to his employees again?
posted by xammerboy at 3:34 PM on April 9, 2002

some people are really smooooth.
this should be taught in social engineering 101
posted by tiamat at 3:41 PM on April 9, 2002

this sounds like stupid clerks/managers to me. presumably she says to the manager "i need money" and pretends she knows him, while the manager is freaking out on the other end going "who are you? let me speak to my staff again." and the scammer just ignores him and pretends he's agreeing, thanking him profusely and saying things like "do you need to talk to your employee again? oh, okay. alright. i will. and are we still on for thursday...? thanks again!" and hangs up.

however, why the manager isn't hanging up and immediately calling the clerk, i have no idea.

i've been scammed twice in my life by what i consider excellent con artists. very smooth talkers. when i'd realized i'd been conned i was so impressed i didn't call cops, etc. neither were big bucks (i think one was 80 and one was 45). ever since, i've been fascinated with short and long cons. i recommend this book.
posted by dobbs at 3:52 PM on April 9, 2002

I saw the security video on the news today, and she was behind the counter, close to the phone. She maybe could have hung up without the clerk noticing. Hard to tell.

Maybe I will run into her tomorrow and get that $1,000 reward.
posted by Kevin Sanders at 4:25 PM on April 9, 2002

dobbs: why the manager isn't hanging up and immediately calling the clerk, i have no idea.

'cause she's still got the phone off the hook. And she hangs up before the off-the-hook tones begin.

It's not like the manager has the cell phone numbers of every staffer. Or any staffer.
posted by zpousman at 8:02 PM on April 9, 2002

I remember being in a bookstore when one customer told the clerk she'd just allowed herself to be scammed by a cash-counting scheme. (You know, "Change for a twenty, oh wait I have a five here, five ones for the five and there we're even" -- like Addy in Paper Moon). Anyway, the clerk seemed more confused by this guy's trying to explain how she'd been scammed, and he announced that he'd go out onto Broadway and see if he could run after the guy. (Which didn't make any sense.) He disappeared. The clerk's jaw was grazing the floor, and the 2nd clerk immediately began closing out the register, as several customers began arguing whether the first guy that nobody noticed had actually scammed her, or whether the second, loud guy was trying to pull his own scam, or just cause a distraction. He looked like any ordinary 40ish nebbish you might find up near Columbia.

Oddly, my search for 'con games' and like phrases yielded more 404s in 15 minutes than I ever remember.
posted by dhartung at 8:04 PM on April 9, 2002

Closest I've ever come to being conned was when I was working at Sears during college. A woman paid for something with a $20 bill and claimed it had been a $50. Unfortunately, there were no $50 bills in the drawer, since I hadn't taken any on my shift. Whoops!
posted by kindall at 9:21 PM on April 9, 2002

dobbs recommended David Maurer's The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Men. This is a great book, and makes the point that stupidity is emphatically not the cause of people's susceptibility to cons. It's the sort of book you find yourself loaning to lots of people in the vain hope that they'll read it. If you're at all interested in con men, read this book.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 10:06 PM on April 9, 2002

posted by ducktape at 11:11 AM on April 12, 2002

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