A Simple Scam

I've never had any qualms about ripping off chain stores. This scam works best with the big boys of grocery/pharmacy. Their ubiquity is a two-edged sword: more locations to profit, more to swindle. Brad L. taught me this beautiful short con that only takes minutes and can keep you in booze and smokes (or other equally costly vices) for the better part of the day.

  1. PARKING LOT TROLL: Arrive at the lot around 5:30 pm when the workaday grocery rush is at its peak. For the weekend, I recommend midday. You are looking for receipts. More to the point, you are looking for receipts that document CASH purchases. Try to find one with a fairly costly item that you'll be able to locate easily once inside the store. Bear in mind, there are rent-a-cops everywhere these days, so do your best to be suave when scooping up bits of paper off of the pavement.

  2. THE STORE: Now you have your receipt. There's a $15 bag of dog food on the list and it's a cash payment. Walk into the store confident and a bit annoyed. A sour puss helps people believe you're running an errand you'd really rather not. Locate the bag of dog food, double-checking price and brand. This is crucial so a bit of sobriety can be helpful. Grab the bag. Try not to scan for rent-a-cops too obviously. Put some stock in your peripheral vision. Maintain that sour puss throughout.

  3. 3) CUSTOMER SERVICE: Before you walk to the customer service desk you must put the receipt in your back pocket (this is bit of finesse that will be relevant in the next step). Go toward the entrance first then turn to the customer service desk. Remember, you don't want to be there. You are extremely inconvenienced and so is the service rep. You understand their plight, neither of you want to be there.

  4. 4) THE DROP OFF: Whomp! Down comes the dog food bag onto the desk. Now you have their attention. Smile apologetically and ask them to hold on just a minute while you look in your front pockets for the receipt. Mutter mild obscenities while you look. Ahh, eureka! It was in your back pocket all along. What a relief, huh, Mr./Mrs. Service Rep?

  5. 5) THE PITCH: Some folks prefer to keep quiet after they've lied about the unnecessary nature of their purchase but that ain't everyone. If you tend to be nervous when stealing, use it. Keep rambling on about how your demented mother hates this brand, she needs some organic hippy dog food that this store doesn't sell, and you were on your way to a gun show when she forced you to return it. If you're an adult and living with your mom most people won't grill you with questions. Or cough a lot. Pick your nose. Complain, complain, complain. When you look back at the desk there should be $15 staring back at you. Grab the cash, say thank you for your trouble, and walk out briskly but not too brisk. It helps to check your watch (or wrist) on the way out.

  6. 6) WARNING!: Now that you have your cash, do not purchase your booze, cough syrup, ReadyWhip, etc. at the store. Highly suspect, highly stupid. Be safe and please use this scam responsibly. Thanks to Brad L. and thank you for all your trouble.


- Ben Redgrave