The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP are warning businesses to be vigilant after receiving several reports of con-artists activity in local stores.
The individuals have been targeting businesses using sleight of hand tactics in order to confuse cashiers and make off with cash.
Here’s how the scam works:
The thief hands a cashier a large-denomination bill, or bills, and requests change in smaller bills. Once the cashier turns over the smaller bills, the thief uses a quick and deceptive hand movement to pocket a portion of the currency. The thief then returns what is left of the smaller bills to the cashier and requests a different denomination or will change their mind about the exchange in an effort to confuse the cashier. The merchant returns the money and the fraudster makes off with a greater amount of cash than they initially had leaving the business short-changed.
These con artists are taking advantage of the trusting nature of employees and are using speed and confusion to their advantage. States Constable Chris Terleski, Media Relations Officer for the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP. Be cautious of any requests to exchange any type of large currency. If anything about any transaction seems suspicious, slow down, do not be afraid to re-count or double check an exchange before it happens, and report any suspicious activity to police immediately.