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Cash Register Scam, or Hoax?

Are cash registers, or cashiers, adding cash-back money to your receipt? Snopes.com may have deemed this a hoax, but SafetySmart Lilburn isn't so sure.

Anytime emails with bold letters scream that there is a danger to everyone, I am inclined to check www.Snopes.com.

When “Walmart Cash Back Scam” was entered, Snopes reported that this is a false report: That the only way cash back can be requested is from the customer side of the card reader. The site went on to say that it is probable that the customer “mistakenly hit the wrong button” to verify their signature.

However, on Thursday I received a response to the alert sent from SafetySmart Lilburn to neighborhood leaders regarding this concern. Someone in Gwinnett County -- contacted by SafetySmart Lilburn -- made purchases a couple weeks ago at a big-box store and noted a $40 cash back charge added to her receipt.

After repeated attempts to have the cashier deal with it, this person requested that the manager count the drawer of the cashier: There was a $40 overage compared with cash register records; the cashier stated that the customer had requested the cash back, which the customer declares was not true. 

The ways that people are trying to get additional income these days are myriad— sometimes honestly and sometimes less so. This is not to suggest that every cashier is trying to steal money, nor that people should avoid a particular store. It is merely to alert consumers to the possibility that dishonest people exist in the world.

To err on the side of caution, every consumer should make sure that receipts match the purchases made, preferably before signing the card reader screen. Alternatively, watch every entry made in the cash register as your order is rung up.

SafetySmart Lilburn sends alerts to leaders of neighborhoods in and around 30047.  If you would like to have your name added as the representative who forwards information to your neighborhood, please visit our website at www.safetysmartlilburn.org.

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