How Cashiers Can Safeguard Against Classic Cash Scam

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If you ever become a cashier, here is a quick scam-busting tip to safeguard against a classic cash scam. I learned this tip from my first job as a cashier.

What to do

After you enter the amount the customer is going to pay, the cash register drawer opens. When you receive the cash from the customer, lay that cash on top of your open register drawer. 

Before you give the customer their change, double-check to make sure you’re giving the correct change. 

After you’ve given the customer their change, put the money you were given into the proper slots in your register drawer and then close it. 

Why do this

This is a good way to avoid someone saying they gave you a $20 bill when they actually gave you a $10 bill. Some people do forget that they gave you the wrong bill; but, there are other people who are just scammy and are trying to get back more than they gave you.

That overage amount will be found out when you close and count down your drawer. You will be responsible for that missing money, even though you had nothing to do with it. Believe me, it sucks. I’ve had it happen to me!

How I got burned

This happened to me during my first job as a sales associate at an upscale department store (which shall remain nameless). One day, during a regular transaction, a customer stated I didn’t give him enough change back.  I checked the receipt and it had been entered correctly. He continued to say he gave me a twenty-dollar bill, not a ten-dollar bill.

I was sure he had given me a ten, but then I started to doubt myself. What if I was wrong? So I apologized and gave him the change for a twenty.  

Later on, a co-worker and I talked about the situation. That’s when she told me about this whole scam and how it worked.

At first I was shocked that someone would do that, and then I got angry! Why would folks do something like this? Really? That was when my co-worker showed me this little scam-stopping trick.

I remember one time when a customer challenged me. Politely, I told her the amount she had given me. Then I explained to her how I kept the money she gave me separate from the money in the drawer, and even showed her the money she had given me. After that, she hushed up.

So, this is one good way to cover yourself. 

A bonus hack 

Over the years, I learned an extra hack. Don’t let anyone else use your drawer. This was a mistake I made.

One day when I went to lunch, I didn’t count down or log out of my drawer. Since this process wasn’t required at the store, I didn’t know anything about it.

Well that day I went to lunch, a co-worker used my register. When I came back from lunch, I got back on my register and was on it until closing.

At the end of the night, I counted down my drawer and the amount came up short. That’s strange! The manager and I count it again two more times, and the register amount was still short.

I was sure I had given the correct change to everyone. After some investigating, it was found that my co-worker had been the one to give back too much change.

From then on, all cashiers that worked there were required to count down their drawers and put them in the safe before any work break.

The takeaway

If you’re ever a cashier, keeping the money out–in full view of the customer–until the transaction is over, can decrease the instances of folks trying to get extra money out of you. 

Some people forget that they gave you a certain amount, but others know they haven’t and are trying to scam you. Be aware!

Just saying!

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