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Old 08-10-2013, 01:30 PM
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The $20 change scam

I don't know what this scam is officially called. But it has happened to me twice.

It works like this: let's say the price for something is $3.90, and I hand the cashier a $20 bill. He puts the bill in the cash register drawer and hands me back $6.10 in change (one $5 bill, one $1 bill, and one dime).

He is hoping I won't notice the discrepancy. If I do notice it, he will claim I gave him a $10 bill and not a $20 bill.

Both times when this happened to me, I got pretty pissed off at the cashier, and insisted I gave them a $20 bill. They each quickly relented and handed me an additional $10.

So now, when something costs less than $10 and I pay with a $20 bill, I will say (loudly and clearly) "Here is a twenty" when handing the $20 bill to the cashier.

Has this ever happened to you?
Old 08-10-2013, 01:35 PM
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Well, it's call short-changing. Although you may be attributing to maliciousness what could be explained by incompetence.

In my days of register handling, we were taught to put the bill in question on top of the register drawer until the change was made, because it was more likely that the scam would go in the other direction -- the customer would pay with a $10.00 and then, after change was made, claim that they had given a $20.00.

Of course, modern registers do not rely on human frailties to compute change -- the cashier generally types in the amount the customer has given and the change is calculated, so all you have to do is make sure that the amount is entered correctly.
Old 08-10-2013, 01:37 PM
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My experience with cash registers is this- a $10 shortage is less big of a deal than a customer who thinks you stole $10 from him.
So 'giving back' the money is not a sign of guilt. Verbally naming your bill is a good idea though.
Old 08-10-2013, 01:48 PM
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The movie The Grifters has an excellent portrayal of this scam worked from the customer side. John Cusack flashes a $20, then does a tricky palming move as he passes the ($10) bill over.

Spoileresque: he tries it one too many times.
Old 08-10-2013, 02:23 PM
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From the other side of the register, you sometimes hear the clerk say "Out of twenty" or similar.
This is to prevent the customer from claiming they gave a $50 note or whatever.

Another scam:
An accomplice pays for the cup of coffee with a marked (Happy Birthday, Perp!) $100 bill.
The perp later enters the shop and pays for a cup with a $20 but then insists they gave the hundred. Perp can then refer to the bill marking as 'proof'.
Old 08-10-2013, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post
From the other side of the register, you sometimes hear the clerk say "Out of twenty" or similar.
This is to prevent the customer from claiming they gave a $50 note or whatever.
As a customer, I always hand a bill to the cashier with a similar voice notation. It makes it harder to say they made a mistake.

This scam is described well in The Change Raisers.
Quote:
Another scam:
An accomplice pays for the cup of coffee with a marked (Happy Birthday, Perp!) $100 bill.
The perp later enters the shop and pays for a cup with a $20 but then insists they gave the hundred. Perp can then refer to the bill marking as 'proof'.
Used in the movie Paper Moon, with Jodie Foster, from the book Addie Pray, by Joe David Brown. Works especially well if the 2nd customer is a crying little girl. "My granny gave me that money for my birthday!" {sob, sob}
Old 08-10-2013, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post
From the other side of the register, you sometimes hear the clerk say "Out of twenty" or similar.
This is to prevent the customer from claiming they gave a $50 note or whatever.
My mom always says "Out of twenty" or whatever when she pays cash. On the rare occasions that I use cash, I do the same.
Quote:
Another scam:
An accomplice pays for the cup of coffee with a marked (Happy Birthday, Perp!) $100 bill.
The perp later enters the shop and pays for a cup with a $20 but then insists they gave the hundred. Perp can then refer to the bill marking as 'proof'.
As seen in Paper Moon.

Last edited by FairyChatMom; 08-10-2013 at 02:45 PM. Reason: Dang - ya snooze, ya lose...
Old 08-10-2013, 02:56 PM
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ISTM that saying "out of $20" or "here's a $20" isn't going to do any good since you could still hand the cashier (accidentally or on purpose) a $10 and if you did hand them a bill that's different from what you said it's going to be a royal mess.

I remember back when I was in grade school a friends mom dropped us off at a mini golf place. On the way there I was showing off my new found skill of tearing the strip out of a $20. So, we go, we pay and right away I notice that I was short changed (she gave me change back for a $10), but I was too young to say anything. When the friends mom picked us up, I told her about it and she marched over to the cashier and explained to her that I gave her a $20 but only got change for a $10. The cashier, somehow magically remembering my transaction from two hours earlier said "No, he gave me a $10" and my friends mom said "No, he gave you a twenty and if you check, there's a notched ripped out of the top". She handed me a ten dollar bill back without asking any more questions and I'll bet if you watched, she probably took a ten dollar bill out of her pocket and put if back in the register.
Old 08-10-2013, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
ISTM that saying "out of $20" or "here's a $20" isn't going to do any good since you could still hand the cashier (accidentally or on purpose) a $10 and if you did hand them a bill that's different from what you said it's going to be a royal mess.
My reason for saying it, as a customer, is for one additional confirmation for all parties. If what I say doesn't match what the cashier gets, we need to reconcile the discrepancy immediately. Conversely, if I get the wrong change, I can point out that not only did I give a certain bill, but I also spoke its name. If the cashier had planned a scam, it makes me look a lot less like a sucker since I was well aware of the amount and I vocalized it.

You may not agree with my assessment, but I don't see a downside to saying, "Out of a twenty...".
Old 08-10-2013, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
ISTM that saying "out of $20" or "here's a $20" isn't going to do any good since you could still hand the cashier (accidentally or on purpose) a $10 and if you did hand them a bill that's different from what you said it's going to be a royal mess.
"... out of twenty"

"that's a ten"

"oh, so it is"




Doesn't seem like a royal mess to me.
Old 08-10-2013, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
ISTM that saying "out of $20" or "here's a $20" isn't going to do any good since you could still hand the cashier (accidentally or on purpose) a $10 and if you did hand them a bill that's different from what you said it's going to be a royal mess.
The whole scam relies on one party not noticing what happened and calling out loud should really cut down on 'accidents.' If you give a 20 and the clerk says 'out of 10,' you're likely to notice. But you're right that the clerk could simply give the change based on a 10 and hope it isn't noticed.

Occasionally, if I notice that the cashier is in training and I pay with a 10, I'll say 'Wait, didn't I give you a 20?' and give them a few seconds of wide-eyed terror before smiling, winking and wagging my finger. Not usually but sometimes, especially if we'd first had a bit of conversation and there's a supervisor in earshot.

Re: Movie references:
I learned my scams at the lemonade stan'.
Old 08-10-2013, 03:38 PM
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Is this kind of thing less frequent now that US banknotes are differently-coloured?
Old 08-10-2013, 03:58 PM
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US banknotes are differently colored? Mine have all been green.
Old 08-10-2013, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Inner Stickler View Post
US banknotes are differently colored? Mine have all been green.
The ink is, but the paper is different. $10s have an orange tint around the outside and red "We the People" across the front. $20s have a blue eagle silhouette and blue "Twenty USA" on the front.
Old 08-10-2013, 04:05 PM
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Mine have red stamps from Where's George notices, so yes, they are differently colored.

Last edited by Musicat; 08-10-2013 at 04:05 PM.
Old 08-10-2013, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
The ink is, but the paper is different. $10s have an orange tint around the outside and red "We the People" across the front. $20s have a blue eagle silhouette and blue "Twenty USA" on the front.
Shows you how often I deal with cash.
Old 08-10-2013, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
This scam is described well in The Change Raisers. Used in the movie Paper Moon, with Jodie Foster, from the book Addie Pray, by Joe David Brown. Works especially well if the 2nd customer is a crying little girl. "My granny gave me that money for my birthday!" {sob, sob}
It was Tatum O'Neal and she won an Oscar for it.
Old 08-10-2013, 04:29 PM
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If you're working a busy cash register, the various transactions can blur together. If you are not careful you can fall for the customer scam or do the short change scam by accident.

Or you can steal money from people.
Old 08-10-2013, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
I don't know what this scam is officially called. But it has happened to me twice.

It works like this: let's say the price for something is $3.90, and I hand the cashier a $20 bill. He puts the bill in the cash register drawer and hands me back $6.10 in change (one $5 bill, one $1 bill, and one dime).
This happened to me twice on successive weekends at the downtown movie theater. I paid for a $7.50 ticket with a $20 bill, and got $2.50 back in change. Each time I pointed out the error and the cashier without hesitation handed me an additional $10. Definitely scamming. I sent the theater an e-mail about it and never heard back.
Old 08-10-2013, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by aurora maire View Post
It was Tatum O'Neal and she won an Oscar for it.
My bad. Shows what I get for drawing upon faulty memory.

I read the book first, and the movie left out 75% of the scams they pulled. The book is much better.
Old 08-10-2013, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post

Occasionally, if I notice that the cashier is in training and I pay with a 10, I'll say 'Wait, didn't I give you a 20?' and give them a few seconds of wide-eyed terror before smiling, winking and wagging my finger. Not usually but sometimes, especially if we'd first had a bit of conversation and there's a supervisor in earshot.
So you're one of those customers that likes to mess with the cashiers because you think it's funny. I hope you don't shop at my store.
Here's a tip. The cashiers don't think it's funny and the managers have probably sat in the backroom and said "Someone should talk to him...I swear if he does that again I'll say something...someone needs to talk to the boss"

We spend plenty of time with our new cashiers, we don't need any help from the customers, even if it's with good intention. We've trained them to deal with people like you.

Also, if you did that at my store, you'd likely hear them yell for a manager before you got to the 'just kidding' part. I train my cashiers to stop what they're doing, close the drawer and call for someone as soon as that situation shows up. It's a lot easier for someone who's not in the middle of the situation to come out and say 'what happened, what money went where' then for the cashier and the customer to start shuffling things back and forth and for things to start getting even more confused.

If I was the manager that was called out (and I'm the highest person there, besides the owner, so I'm really the only person that can do this) and you told me you were just joking I'd very nicely say "Sir, please don't do that, these cashiers work really hard all day long, they ring up a lot of customers during their shifts, they really don't need anyone trying to confuse them on purpose, it's not funny and it's not helpful". If you did it twice, I'd ask you not to come back again AND I'd assume you were deliberately trying to short change them and steal money from me. If you came in after that I'd call the police. It wouldn't go over well when I say "I've caught him twice saying 'I gave you a $20' when he actually gave them a ten, hoping to get an extra ten, but when they called for a manager to fix the mistake he said he changed his story". I know, it's sounds WAY over the top, but too many people steal and often they do it in really creative ways so if a customer lied and said they gave the cashier a twenty instead of a ten, I'm not going to take kindly to it. I'm just going to work on the assumption that they were trying to steal and got caught and I'd have my eye on them every time they shop from then on.

I know you think it's funny, but it's not. Do customers come in to your job and 'help' you train your new employees?

Sorry for the ramble, but working retail all my life is really hard and I don't understand why some people go out of their way to make it harder. There's just no reason for that.
Old 08-10-2013, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangent View Post
This happened to me twice on successive weekends at the downtown movie theater. I paid for a $7.50 ticket with a $20 bill, and got $2.50 back in change. Each time I pointed out the error and the cashier without hesitation handed me an additional $10. Definitely scamming. I sent the theater an e-mail about it and never heard back.
Even if you never hear back, it's still a good idea. On the one hand, they might just be ignoring you or not checking that box OTOH, someone might have read it and said "Jeezus, we just got another email about Susan short changing customers/being rude/picking at her scabs"
IOW, just because you didn't hear back, doesn't mean it's falling on deaf ears.
Old 08-10-2013, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post
Occasionally, if I notice that the cashier is in training and I pay with a 10, I'll say 'Wait, didn't I give you a 20?' and give them a few seconds of wide-eyed terror before smiling, winking and wagging my finger. Not usually but sometimes, especially if we'd first had a bit of conversation and there's a supervisor in earshot.
What in the hell makes you think that's funny or acceptable? Jerkish behavior like that no cashier needs, in training or or not.

Good lord, it's amazing what some people think is acceptable behavior...
Old 08-10-2013, 07:33 PM
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Esprit d'escallier

This doesn't happen when the cashier leaves the $20 on the platform when they are making change.

I once went to a restaurant that pulled the OP's nonsense on me. The first time I was embarrassed and was less than 100% sure that I had given them a $20. The second time I marked my bill, adopted a zoned out expression -- and was short changed again. I lost my temper: "I gave you a 20!!!!!", I shouted. I never got to the point of pointing out the mark I had made on my bill: they just refunded the difference.

The manager instructed the cashier to leave the bill on the register when the transaction was taking place, but frankly his tone of voice was off and the cashier seemed a little uncomfortable. I think the manager was playing ringleader and one of the two cashiers was embarrassed about it. The restaurant closed down within a year.

F---ers.
Old 08-10-2013, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
We spend plenty of time with our new cashiers, we don't need any help from the customers, even if it's with good intention. We've trained them to deal with people like you.
Honestly, I get your point and hope you get mine. Your cashiers will already know what happened before the 'close the register' part. If, as you say, you'd properly trained your cashiers, this couldn't even happen since they'd have already verbally acknowledged the note tendered as discussed in this thread.

Besides, this is a 'made you look' type thing that never fails to get a smile and that you-got-me eye roll. I wouldn't do it in a grocery line (which I think you run), fast food joint or to someone who is going to wet their pants with fright, more like a quiet bike shop or bar where the cash handler has been helping me and we've been chatting for a while.

As with all things humorous, tone and technique are of the essence. If I did it to you, you'd have a chuckle.
Old 08-10-2013, 09:06 PM
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When I saw thread title, I thought it might be about this scam. (Turn down the volume before clicking this loud YouTube -- why is there such huge volume variation in YouTubes?)

These days, I'm most likely to be called back by cashier saying I'd forgotten to wait for my change.

I've had short-changing attempts made against me. An attractive waitress in Santa Cruz, Calif. once gave me change from a $50 as though it were a $20. (She may have made the attempt because I'd drunk wine and acted slightly tipsy.) An attempt was made by cashier at a large Nevada casino. The cashier at a car dealer where I was servicing my car asked a question to distract me at the precise moment that she handed me incorrect change. Et cetera. Don't know how often I've been shortchanged without knowing it.

Last edited by septimus; 08-10-2013 at 09:07 PM.
Old 08-10-2013, 09:06 PM
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I you did it to me in my shop I'd assume you were trying to cheat me, or that you were some sort of sadistic prankster. And Og help you if the boss overheard/saw you do that.

Not everyone finds "jokes" about money to be funny.
Old 08-10-2013, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post
Besides, this is a 'made you look' type thing that never fails to get a smile and that you-got-me eye roll.
Of course they smile. They have to.
Old 08-10-2013, 11:49 PM
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I did some cash-registering as a young lad in West Texas, and the $20 scam that was common then and there was when a scammer customer would make a small purchase with a $20 bill, then after you'd given him his change he would say something like, "Oh, can I get a couple of fives instead of a 10? Thanks, Oh shit, wait, I need some ones, can you do that? Ah man, I just remembered, here let me have ..." By the time he was finished, he'd have his $20 back and then some. They were always pretty obvious about it too, or so it seemed to me. We were instructed just to shut the drawer and say, "Nope, sorry, no change."

Last edited by Siam Sam; 08-10-2013 at 11:49 PM.
Old 08-11-2013, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post
Honestly, I get your point and hope you get mine. Your cashiers will already know what happened before the 'close the register' part. If, as you say, you'd properly trained your cashiers, this couldn't even happen since they'd have already verbally acknowledged the note tendered as discussed in this thread.

Besides, this is a 'made you look' type thing that never fails to get a smile and that you-got-me eye roll. I wouldn't do it in a grocery line (which I think you run), fast food joint or to someone who is going to wet their pants with fright, more like a quiet bike shop or bar where the cash handler has been helping me and we've been chatting for a while.

As with all things humorous, tone and technique are of the essence. If I did it to you, you'd have a chuckle.
You are trying to get someone to panic, deliberately. You're bullying the cashier because you can. The cashier is already under stress, and you think it's fun to put more stress on him/her.

And sure, YOU think it's funny, but the cashier doesn't. It's like getting hit on, as a cashier. The cashier can't make too much of a fuss about it without losing his/her job. Do you think cashiers LIKE being cashiers? That when they were growing up, this was their life plan? No, they are there because they need the money, and this is the best job they can get. Now, a customer like you comes along, and you think it would be fun to mess with their heads. You are in a position of power over them, you can get them in trouble or even fired. And you think it's funny to scare them.

Please confine your interactions to machines only from now on.
Old 08-11-2013, 01:34 AM
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No reason you can't still be witty, though. You'll have the cashier in stitches with a well-timed "working hard or hardly working?" and should an item fail to scan, you can bring the house down by quipping "I guess it must be free, then!"
Old 08-11-2013, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
This scam is described well in The Change Raisers. Used in the movie Paper Moon, with Jodie Foster, from the book Addie Pray, by Joe David Brown. Works especially well if the 2nd customer is a crying little girl. "My granny gave me that money for my birthday!" {sob, sob}
Quote:
Originally Posted by aurora maire View Post
It was Tatum O'Neal and she won an Oscar for it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
My bad. Shows what I get for drawing upon faulty memory.
Actually it was both. Tatum O'Neal played Addie in the movie and then Jodie Foster played the character in the television series based on the movie. The short changing scene was used in both the movie and series.
Old 08-11-2013, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post
Honestly, I get your point and hope you get mine. Your cashiers will already know what happened before the 'close the register' part. If, as you say, you'd properly trained your cashiers, this couldn't even happen since they'd have already verbally acknowledged the note tendered as discussed in this thread.

Besides, this is a 'made you look' type thing that never fails to get a smile and that you-got-me eye roll. I wouldn't do it in a grocery line (which I think you run), fast food joint or to someone who is going to wet their pants with fright, more like a quiet bike shop or bar where the cash handler has been helping me and we've been chatting for a while.

As with all things humorous, tone and technique are of the essence. If I did it to you, you'd have a chuckle.
You are misinterpreting both the smile and the eye-roll. I didn't even think it was funny reading it in the thread. "Made you look" is pre-teen behavior.

Last edited by Hilarity N. Suze; 08-11-2013 at 02:35 AM.
Old 08-11-2013, 02:41 AM
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The one time this happened to me, the cashier actually rang it as a $20, then only gave me change for a $10. I objected. She said, "No, you gave me a ten." I pointed out that she rang it as twenty and she said, "Yeah, I goofed." Yeah. When you gave me the change.

She said she couldn't do anything without a manager and she wouldn't be able to process any other transactions (there was a line). I told her to call the manager. It was a bad scene all around, because the manager had to count the drawer--twice--while all the customers were waiting and I was standing there making snide remarks like "Paying by check? That's a GOOD idea..."

In the end I got my money back, but unfortunately had spent most of my lunch hour waiting (and being snide).

Meanwhile a few of the customers put down what they were intending to buy and left. (A really bad idea to only have one drawer per floor open during lunch hour.)

Never saw that cashier there again. (Oh, the drawer? It was WAY off. Not in the customers' favor, either.)
Old 08-11-2013, 02:45 AM
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When you go into a bank, be sure to look at the bills and say, "I'll take any extra bills you have back there." It's a regular laugh riot every time.
Old 08-11-2013, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post
If I did it to you, you'd have a chuckle.
Have "to" chuckle, not have "a" chuckle.
Because there's a camera and I can't get away with punching you.

You aren't funny, you aren't nice, you aren't welcome with that crap. Cut it out.
Old 08-11-2013, 09:40 AM
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As a cashier, I got customers attempting change scams pretty often. I also got plenty of situations where the customer was genuinely confused.

Of course, I'd screw up now and then as well. I might process $1000 a night in mostly $2.00- $4.00 chunks, and I was evaluated on speed. I never tried to scam anyone, but of course every time I made a mistake the customer would assume it was deliberate. Sometimes, the mistakes are genuine.

Last edited by even sven; 08-11-2013 at 09:40 AM.
Old 08-11-2013, 10:02 AM
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James Michener's early novel "The Fires Of Spring" has a character who works at a carnival being extensively trained on how to shortchange his customers (example: the two dimes and a nickel that are being slide down the counter will be two nickels and a dime by the time they reach the customer).
Old 08-11-2013, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
I did some cash-registering as a young lad in West Texas, and the $20 scam that was common then and there was when a scammer customer would make a small purchase with a $20 bill, then after you'd given him his change he would say something like, "Oh, can I get a couple of fives instead of a 10? Thanks, Oh shit, wait, I need some ones, can you do that? Ah man, I just remembered, here let me have ..." By the time he was finished, he'd have his $20 back and then some. They were always pretty obvious about it too, or so it seemed to me. We were instructed just to shut the drawer and say, "Nope, sorry, no change."
Someone tried that on me once. I gave him his change back (it was probably $18 or so) and then he tried to get two two $5s for a $10. When I held out my hand waiting to get the $10 back to put in the register, he got all flustered and just ran out the door.

Last edited by Justin_Bailey; 08-11-2013 at 11:58 AM.
Old 08-11-2013, 12:15 PM
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A local store (as opposed to a chain) did this to me last year. Cashier insisted I gave him a $10 when I gave him a $20. I called the manager over and she sided with the cashier. I was told "we'll call you if the register is over by $10 at the end of the night." Needless to say I have never shopped there again and I tell the story whenever the store's name comes into conversation.
Old 08-11-2013, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
I know you think it's funny, but it's not. Do customers come in to your job and 'help' you train your new employees?
Agreed. I was thinking the same thing when I read his post...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post
Honestly, I get your point and hope you get mine. Your cashiers will already know what happened before the 'close the register' part. If, as you say, you'd properly trained your cashiers, this couldn't even happen since they'd have already verbally acknowledged the note tendered as discussed in this thread.

Besides, this is a 'made you look' type thing that never fails to get a smile and that you-got-me eye roll. I wouldn't do it in a grocery line (which I think you run), fast food joint or to someone who is going to wet their pants with fright, more like a quiet bike shop or bar where the cash handler has been helping me and we've been chatting for a while.

As with all things humorous, tone and technique are of the essence. If I did it to you, you'd have a chuckle.
No, I wouldn't. Not even a tee-hee. But you would get the eye roll, just of a different essence ...
Old 08-11-2013, 01:38 PM
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I work cash out of my pocket in a very fast paced restaurant. It's often I will have 6 different people at a table (the separate check scenario) all handing me 20$s at the same time. As soon as I take the bill it goes to the back of my stack and I count the change back. Same tactic as keeping it atop the register drawer...

Rarely though, is there ever a descrepency...
Old 08-11-2013, 02:37 PM
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This reminded me of an incident that happened while I was a teller, back in the days when we wore arm garters and green eyeshades. (Well, not quite that long ago... but I did wear polyester clip-on ties.)

A guy tried to pull a really inept fast-change move on me, interrupting the count-out of $100 or so for changes... basically, the "two tens for a five" gag with some razzle-dazzle. He finally scooped up the pile and left in a hurry. I wonder how long it took him to realize he was $20 short... which showed up in my count at the end of the day and I told my ops officer exactly where it came from. She grinned and wrote it up as "unknown non-customer error."

If he'd ever had the cojones to come back in, he would have gotten his $20 back.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 08-11-2013 at 02:38 PM.
Old 08-11-2013, 03:39 PM
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Watching your next paycheck flash before your eyes and evaporate, even for a few seconds, is never ever, never, never, ever funny. The thoughts behind the grin, chuckle, eye roll, are something like, "I would really like to punch you in the face, but that would disappear my paycheck just like an over register would right now. I have to smile and take it, because that's my job. But in my mind, right now, I'm stomping on your head." That's where the smile comes from.

I've been both a teller at a large bank and worked a register. I've seen the scam from the customer side, and saw a teller lose his job over it. He went against policy of refusing to give change to non-customers. These people came in (on separate occasions, weeks apart) with a $100 bill and asked for change. If he were to go against policy in the first place and want to keep his job, you would think he would be extra careful, count deliberately, and not do any exchanges he didn't have complete control over - as in have the bills away from the scammer so they can't pull any fast moves. But no, he fell for the multiple change changes, more small bills, and oh, I changed my mind, to the tune of $50 each time. Dumbass.

A good cashier has a routine, and sticks to it. I always, always placed the bill(s) on top of the drawer, stated the amount given to me, and counted back the change to the customer before putting the bills inside the drawer. Even then, it wasn't perfect all the time, mistakes do happen. The key is to make sure they're as few and far between as possible.
Old 08-11-2013, 04:37 PM
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Happened to me at a Burger King once. The cashier's response was "No. You didn't. You gave me a ten." And he wasn't going to check at first. I started looking for a receipt that had purchases I'd made with a cashback amount for proof. Then he decided to check. $20 must have been in the $10 slot because he immediately handed me the rest of my change.

The part that floored me was how he immediately dismissed my claim as if he didn't make mistakes. No apology either.
Old 08-11-2013, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
It works like this: let's say the price for something is $3.90, and I hand the cashier a $20 bill. He puts the bill in the cash register drawer and hands me back $6.10 in change (one $5 bill, one $1 bill, and one dime)...
Has this ever happened to you?
Just a couple days ago I paid with a twenty and got change back as though I'd handed over a $10 bill. I said "Uh, I gave you a twenty" (and fortunately the cashier hadn't yet stowed the bill in the register). So I got the rest of my change without incident.

I don't think it was deliberate, but interestingly the cashier was one of those uber-Christians who tells all customers "Have a blessed day".

You've gotta watch those people like a hawk.
Old 08-11-2013, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by even sven View Post
As a cashier, I got customers attempting change scams pretty often. I also got plenty of situations where the customer was genuinely confused.
Yes, this is my experience as both a cashier and a supervisor. Whenever a customer claimed to have been short-changed, it was our policy to count the drawer with an electronic counter (which took fifteen seconds, tops). A lot of times, when I told the customers I wanted to check the drawer first, they said, "Oh, never mind, it must have been my mistake," and they practically ran away from the checkout. Yeah, nice try, people. And (shocker) that cashier's drawer was almost always correct to the penny at the end of the night.

On the other hand, when a customer agreed to have the drawer counted, there usually was the discrepancy the customer claimed there would be.
Old 08-11-2013, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enomaj View Post
Happened to me at a Burger King once. The cashier's response was "No. You didn't. You gave me a ten." And he wasn't going to check at first. I started looking for a receipt that had purchases I'd made with a cashback amount for proof. Then he decided to check. $20 must have been in the $10 slot because he immediately handed me the rest of my change.

The part that floored me was how he immediately dismissed my claim as if he didn't make mistakes. No apology either.
Most likely you'd be just as dismissive if you had people try the 'I gave you a $20' scam every damn shift...
Old 08-11-2013, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisiate View Post
Most likely you'd be just as dismissive if you had people try the 'I gave you a $20' scam every damn shift...
Every

damn

shift.

and then laugh about it.

Like jnglmassiv does.
Old 08-11-2013, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
Just a couple days ago I paid with a twenty and got change back as though I'd handed over a $10 bill. I said "Uh, I gave you a twenty" (and fortunately the cashier hadn't yet stowed the bill in the register). So I got the rest of my change without incident.

I don't think it was deliberate, but interestingly the cashier was one of those uber-Christians who tells all customers "Have a blessed day".

You've gotta watch those people like a hawk.
It does occasionally happen. When I worked at the cash register for a few years in college, I don't remember ever coming across somebody trying to scam cash from me, but I'm pretty sure at least once or twice I've counted the change out of 10 instead of 20 and got called on it and, sure enough, I'd see a $20 in the $10 slot. Despite the occasional error, I don't recall register receipts being off by more than a couple of bucks in either direction at the end of the night, so if these errors were being made with any frequency, they were balanced out by errors in the customer's favor.

There's a more complex change scam that is perpetrated by the customer, but I can't quite remember how it goes. It involves something like giving a 20 to the cashier, getting your change, and then "realizing" you need some smaller bills for something (or maybe you need the larger bill?), asking for the twenty back and redoing the transaction with different bills and somehow ending up with more change that you're supposed to have with a bit of misdirection. Anyone know what the hell I am so badly remembering?

ETA: Well, that was easy. First Google hit for change scam.

Last edited by pulykamell; 08-11-2013 at 08:00 PM.
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