I’m pissed off. I’m mad at the dishonest little piss-ant that duped me, and I’m mad at myself for not figuring out exactly what was going on fast enough to stop it.
I knew something was wrong. I knew he was up to something, I just wasn’t sure what the angle was.
He must have stolen a pre-paid Visa card from another store. But since they are no good until they are activated, he had to get it activated somehow. So he brought it into our Chevron, pretending it was one of ours, to get it activated. I figured out later that he used the info strip on the package to get the card number sometime between stealing it and bringing it into our store. At the time, it didn’t even occur to me that the packaging would work just like the card, I figured that since the card was sealed inside the package there wasn’t any way someone could know the card number. I realized, too late, that the package would have to have all the info, that’s the only way we could activate the card without opening the package.
So he comes in, grabs one of our prepaid phone cards and brings that and the stolen prepaid Visa card up to the counter. I go over to our little activator machine thing and swipe the package to activate the card. Both cards are activated and I ring him up. He swipes his debit card and puts in the PIN number and it’s the wrong one. He puts it in again, still wrong. By now I’m sure something is up, I figured that it was a stolen credit card (which it probably was) and figured I’d just catch him when I asked him for his ID. I look down at the card and saw “Christina”, I didn’t see the last name. He tries the PIN again, we don’t ask for ID with debit because we’re allowed to assume that if they know the PIN, even if it isn’t their card, they are authorized to use it. It still doesn’t work. Before I can suggest he show me his ID and we run it as credit, he mumbles something about his wife’s debit card and tells me he’ll be right back.
Now I’m sure something is up, so I watch as he goes out to his car and get his license plate number before he leaves. At this point I’m trying to figure out his scam, since he didn’t even try to run the card as credit. I feel secure that he didn’t get away with anything because, after all, I still have the prepaid cards in my possession. Yet I still feel like he got away with something so I continue thinking about how he could have. I even check the package to see if it had been opened and then resealed, can’t see any sign that it was, I pry it open to see that the card is really still in there. Yup.
By this time it’s been about 20 minutes since he drove off, and even though I didn’t think we could, it occurs to me that I should at least try to void the prepaid cards. The phone card works. The $100 prepaid Visa card doesn’t, the machine tells me that there is no transaction to void. Ohhhh, shit!
I call the manager and tell him what happened. This was Saturday night. He says that he’ll call the company to see if the guy got the $100 on Monday, then we’ll look it up on the video and find him. Monday (today) he called the and found out that the $100 was gone, the guy got it. We found him on the surveillance and marked the time. It was later in the afternoon so he said tomorrow he’ll call the Visa company and see exactly where the money went and whether we should call the police or if Visa takes care of this stuff, since this obviously wasn’t the jerk’s first time, he knew what he was doing. I’ll let ya know what happens.
Well, thanks for listening, venting sure gives me a sense of serenity. The good thing is that I’m sure this won’t happen again, now that I know it can happen I can prevent it from happening again.