Retail Workers Share The Worst Scams Customers Tried To Pull Off

Every day, retail employees everywhere are stuck having to deal with con artists trying to rip off their places of work. Here are some of the ploys these sharp-eyed retailers have busted.

40. Free Phone Fridays!

I once had a dude try to score a free iPhone.

He came into the department I worked in, and started describing this vague iPhone to us, saying he’d lost it in here earlier.

No other details were given, like phone case, or a specific color, just an iPhone. Further questions were asked about where he thinks he might left it in here and he just went quiet and said, “It’s fine, actually. Maybe somebody else has it.” And left.

Our opinion is he knew that sometimes stores will keep people’s phones that they find until the owners come back and then they hand over the phone. He wanted to score a free iPhone.


39. Copper Stories

Image: Paul Keller

Years ago I worked at a small hardware store where they were constantly getting huge rolls of copper wire stolen.

One day this guy and his girlfriend come in to return a roll. I was a few months in on the returns counter. They had no receipt and when I scanned the item for the return it was only doing the price per foot. I couldn’t figure out how to get the SKU or the price for the whole roll.

Called the manager and he comes out and right away knows there’s no way these people bought a roll and returned it. So he asks when they bought it and they say two weeks ago—the common response—and my manager tells them “Oh really, because the last time we sold an entire roll was over 3 months ago.”

The guy starts to get brave and tells him “So, you’re saying I stole it?!” And my manager says yes. They end up leaving and left the roll behind. Before they leave the store the guy says “I’m coming back and bringing the cops.” The manager says “Go ahead. That way you can explain to them how you stole the roll.”