How the scam works:
This new scam makes its rounds these days and it hits the small business owners. You could be a victim of it if you run a small shop with only one person at the till, such as a juice franchise, independent video rentals, or a private convenience store.
How does the scam work? The crook comes in right before closing, ensuring sure they are the last client of the day. "I just want to get a juice please", they say. As the clerk goes to the back of the store to make it (or to bring whatever product is the farthest), the scammer switches the PIN pad by disconnecting it from the line, and adds their own! They have studied the shop's PIN pad on a previous day, and brought one similar to yours. Needless to say, the clerk comes back with the fresh juice, serves the scammer, and closes the store.
What happens is the criminal takes the store's PIN pad, reconnects it, and discards all the transactions from that day. You're talking lots of credit card numbers! After that, they go back to the shop as the first customer the next day. "Oh, I love that shake so much that I came to get another one". While the clerk goes to the back one more time, they switch the PIN pads again and the job is done.
How to avoid:
First and foremost, get a PIN pad that does not disconnect easily. Also, have your clerks cash out right after closing every night. This way, if they notice no transactions come out of the machine they will know something is wrong, although they might believe the network is not available at the time and leave it for the manager in the morning.
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