El Paso Consumer Credit & Fraud Protection | Beware of this scam!
I want to share this quick Consumer Alert! This is more of a dirty tactic made by one employee than a whole business, but it caught me off guard when I found out what she did.
I have noticed that more and more it has become very popular for small businesses such as bars and restaurants to have a SWIVEL iPad payment system or POS payment system. As a business owner these devices and new payment structures offer an amazing cost-effective solution to take payments from patrons but as a consumer, you have been very careful of the new trend!
I noticed this and it caught me off guard when I found out what she did.
Do you know those iPads on the white swivel stand that many small businesses use for payments?
If you’ve never used one, essentially the stand allows the iPad to swivel around to face the customer so they can either enter a tip or not and then swivel it back to the cashier.
I’ve seen cashiers use this stand with me probably hundreds of times, but one particular instance at a local Shaved ice-cream location caught me by surprise. I went with a friend to get some dinner and noticed that right before he paid, his total had gone up a couple bucks, after tax. I realized that the cashier would still swivel the iPad around to the customer (because they would need to sign their name), but she would input the tip for herself very quickly before she rotated the iPad to the customer. I was next to pay and was curious to see if she would try it again. Sure enough, I peek over the iPad to see what she does, and with lightning speed, she types in a nearly 20% tip before having me sign my name.
It never crossed my mind in the hundreds of times that I’ve put in a tip and signed my name on one if those iPad stands that a cashier would try to pull this dirty trick. I actually thought it was pretty ingenious, so I let her keep the tip.
Unfortunately for her, I pointed out what she did to my friend who demanded that the tip be refunded. The manager came over, and the cashier played dumb throughout the whole thing, pretending it was some sort of error in the system.
Dozens of people come in and out of that location every hour; I wonder when her boss will catch on.
Ray Galvan, owner of West Texas Non-Slip, an invisible treatment that makes wet floors non-slippery when wet (as stated on his website) has reported that he has seen this happen to him, but until we brought it up – he never thought much of it! Ray said that the amounts probably rack up to at least a whopping $100.00!
If you have been defrauded there are a few numbers you can contact and report any wrongdoing that might put you in danger or damage your credit repair.
One of the best websites for us here in El Paso TX is probably the Consumer Affairs website at Texas Attorneys General
You have to be very vigilant now because some cashiers are getting very good entering a tip amount for small purchases, you know how most ask for a minimum of $5 for credit card purchases? Well, they have a good reason for that, but have you noticed that most of the time you also don’t pay close attention to the total actual dollar amount around $5 plus whatever tax??? Baristas, wait for staff and cashiers are getting clever and quickly entering an amount for themselves as tips before turning the iPad over to you. They may add $1 or $2 to the total but even if they were to add $00.01 cents – it’s still a fraud and unacceptable.
Stay Alert, And Always Look Over The Ipad To Make Sure It Doesn’t Happen To You And Check Your Totals!
If you are a business who operates these type of POS systems, make sure to have a few dedicated minutes to training on the matter. Advise your staff of the consequences of being caught doing this and make sure they all understand that a few extra dollars in their pocket for that day is not worth the world of trouble that they can get into for themselves and for you as a small business owner.
Have you noticed this happen to you?
If this has happened to you, Blue Pearl Bookkeeping & Tax offers IDShield through LegalShield to all our clients and non-clients as well! ID Shield monitors your financials and SS# as well to keep you and your family protected.