The day after Christmas is a major shopping day in America. Some say that this Christmas event is bigger than Black Friday. But, be warned. Supposedly, there’s a major retail scam happening right now. Amid all the commotion, the following statements tell what you must do to avoid becoming a holiday victim.
The day after Christmas is one of those hectic shopping days where scammers prey on your desire to “get it done and get home.” Especially on busy shopping days, like the day after Christmas sales, shoppers would think that store employees would be apt to help customers move along as quickly as possible, right? Well, you’d be right. Yet, according to this Christmas rumor, some day-after-Christmas employees wouldn’t want you thinking twice about your receipt. And, allegedly, that’s where the scam takes fold.
Unfortunately, this scam hasn’t been limited only to the day after Christmas. According to reports, it’s been a major complaint during every major sales holiday and even during ordinary days.
Via Facebook, a user warned friends and strangers alike about the efficiency of this after-Christmas scam and how you can prevent it by taking only a few extra seconds to slow down.
“THIS IS A ‘HEADS UP’ FOR EVERYONE…IF YOU USE CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS PLEASE READ THIS…IT WAS FORWARDED TO ME BY A FRIEND AND I AM SHARING IT AS WELL…..THIS SCAM CAN BE DONE ANYWHERE, AT ANY RETAIL OR WHOLESALE LOCATION!!!”
In a nutshell, the after-Christmas post describes the scam in its entirety from a personal account. For the most part, while you’ve just enjoyed Christmas day and are out trying to take advantage of last-minute deals, the scamming cashier takes advantage of people who don’t check their receipts.
According to the day-after-Christmas advisory, once the scamming cashier has scanned all your Christmas items — with a quick tap of the fingers — they’ve entered a cash back amount as well. If you don’t have a keen eye, you’d never catch it. The cashier won’t mention it. Once you walk away, the day is done. And it’s “Merry Christmas” to a $40-richer sales employee.
You can read the full Christmas post below.
According to Statista, in 2013, holiday retail sales within the United States — including but not limited to the day after Christmas sales — equaled $592.66 billion. That’s just during holiday sales and excludes online Christmas purchases.
Could you imagine the number of people who come through a cashier’s checkout line during Christmas sales?
Could you imagine how many elderly people have been taken by this after-Christmas scam?
Once again, it’s not limited to the day after Christmas, but for relevancy purposes, you should certainly take this shopping season into account. This potential holiday scam should serve as a wake up call for after-Christmas shoppers to slow down.
However, from the other end of the spectrum, Snopes has several, similar complaints about this cash back scam. Indirectly regarding this Christmas post, this rumor debunker’s verdict renders the allegations as “false.” In the article, it mentions that this particular type of scam has been in rumored circulation since 2004. Verbatim, the debunking medium states as follows.
“In every case of customers’ complaining about getting cash back from credit/debit card purchases without having requested it that we were able to track down, the cause turned out to be that those customers didn’t pay close enough attention to the prompts on the card processing keypads or simply pressed the wrong keys by mistake. And in nearly every one of those cases it was verifiable that the complaining customers had in fact been handed the appropriate amount of cash back by their cashiers (even though they insisted they hadn’t requested it).
“It is possible (and sometimes occurs) that a cashier will actually reach over and manipulate the customer keypad herself to initiate a cash back request unbeknownst to the customer, but this form of theft requires that the customer’s attention be completely diverted elsewhere, and it can’t be done surreptitiously — the action takes place in full view of other employees, customer, and security cameras (and hence such perpetrators are easily caught).”
All in all, consumers need to be the judge of this Christmas-time matter. It’s your money, after all. What’s a few extra seconds to quickly check your receipt, just to be sure? What are your thoughts? Have you taken part in day-after-Christmas shopping? Feel free to share in the comments.
[Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images Entertainment]