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The original item was published from 7/21/2010 1:24:40 PM to 8/1/2010 12:00:09 AM.

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Posted on: July 21, 2010

[ARCHIVED] Police Warn Against Quick Change Artists

Police Warn Against Quick Change Artists

The Bismarck Police Department is warning the public to be aware of quick change artists working in this area.

The Bismarck Police Department has received three reports. The first two occurred at Stamart, 3936 East Divide Avenue. The first was on July 17th at 12:05 PM. The second was on July 18th at 12:15 AM. In each case, two unknown black males came into the store, purchased a small item and initially paid with a $50 bill. When they received their change they interrupted and confused the teller into giving them $50 too much change back in both cases. Their vehicle is described as a maroon 1994 Cadillac, Minnesota plates RTZ376.

The third case occurred at the Expressway Suites, 180 East Bismarck Expressway, on July 19th at 2:04 AM. In this case a black man, 45 to 50 years old, about six feet tall, slender build, with a mole on his cheek, came in and wanted a room. He displayed a large denomination of money and as the clerk started to make change he began handing her more money wanting change for the larger bills. He then decided he didn’t want the room and wanted all the money back. Afterwards she felt something was wrong, counted her till and found it $150 short. The vehicle is described as a darker color vehicle, possibly a Cadillac.

If you have information about these crimes, contact the Bismarck Police Department at 223-1212. To report the information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 224-TIPS (224-8477). You may be eligible for a cash reward if your information leads to an arrest. If you have contact with these people, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.

How it works: Quick-change artists are well versed in creating confusion and in the art of fast talking. Con artists will typically bring a small purchase item to the cashier and offer to pay with a high-denomination bill. As the cashier hands over the proper change, the con artist discovers they have a smaller bill and withdraw the larger bill. The customer attempts, through a rapid exchange of money, to confuse the cashier into believing the correct amount of money has changed hands. Quick change scammers usually end up waking away with all the change from the small bill plus all or part of the change from the larger bill.

Prevention: An alert cashier, who can maintain their composure, understands the importance of taking their time, and not becoming rattled when money is being transferred is the best defense.
When a cashier rings up a sale they should routinely take the cash from the customer and place the bills in a safe and open spot. The customer’s money should never be immediately placed in the cash drawer. Additionally, the cashier should count the change at least twice, once to themselves and the second time to the customer. If a customer attempts to exchange a smaller bill for the original bill, the cashier should retrieve the change, return it to the cash register, and start the change process over with the new denomination.

For more information, contact Sergeant Mark Buschena, 355-1874.

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