Vernon businesses are being warned after several fraud attempts were reported to police.
The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP have received reports of con-artists using sleight-of-hand tactics to confuse cashiers and make off with cash, according to a Wednesday (March 31) press release.
The scam works like this: the thief hands a bill or bills of a large denomination and requests change in smaller bills. Once the cashier hands over the smaller bills, the thief uses a quick hand movement to pocket a portion of money.
The thief then returns the remaining smaller bills to the cashier, requesting a different denomination or saying they “changed their mind” about the exchange. This is an effort to confuse an unsuspecting cashier, police said, with the hopes they’ll be handed back more cash than they came in with.
These con artists are taking advantage of the trusting nature of employees and are using speed and confusion to their advantage, said Const. Chris Terleski, media relations officer for the Vernon 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.