An example of a quick-change con typically begins with paying for a low-cost item with a large bill, such as buying a $1.00 item with a $100 bill. While the cashier is counting the change, the scammer distracts the cashier by chatting about a random subject. Then, the scammer changes his mind and asks to pay for the item with a smaller bill such as a $5.
He hands the cashier a $5 bill and asks for the $100 bill back. The cashier forgets that he's already made change for the $100 and hands the original $100 bill back to the con artist. The cashier then makes change for the $5 bill.
The thief pockets the $99 in change from the first transaction.
How to Spot the "Quick Change" Scam
- Cashiers should be wary of customers trying to purchase a low-cost item with a large bill. Cashiers should request that customers use a smaller bill for the transaction. If the customers don't have a smaller bill, the cashier can direct them to the nearest bank to break the large bill into smaller denominations.
- Look out for shoppers who look confused and quickly and continuously asking to make change.