Quick-cash scam artist hits up Winnipeg stores
Cheryl Holmes, CTV Winnipeg
Published Friday, January 16, 2015 6:40PM CST
Last Updated Friday, January 16, 2015 7:22PM CST
His scam is simple - it starts right when he walks in the store.
"We wound up being short a considerable amount of money," said business owner Graham Taylor. He was first made aware of the scam in summer 2013 when a neighboring ice cream shop was targeted.
A man enters the store when it’s empty or no one’s behind him. He makes a small purchase with a big bill, asks for a series of requests to make change for other bills and finally asks for his original bill back, often leaving with more cash than he came with.
Taylor made his staff aware, trained them on how to deal with it, but they still got duped.
"Since then, he's visited my locations at least four times that I'm aware of (the) most recent being this past Friday," Taylor said none of those attempts were successful.
He made a police report in 2013 and has collected evidence, including surveillance video ever since.
“I'm sitting there watching the security camera, watching the same guy in my store again and that was just it for me -that was enough,” he said.
Now, Taylor has made it his mission to warn other businesses and hopefully figure out who the “$50 bandit is.”
He’s even created a website online: https://sites.google.com/site/catchthe50dollarbillbandit/.
"I'm hoping to unite all the victims of this person, and ultimately end his little journey,” he said.
Taylor said he handed out flyers Thursday and has already found more victims.
"Three people that during my course of handing out my flyers that immediately recognized the image and immediately recognized the scam,” he said. Those people worked at a post office, two coffee shops and a head shop, all in south Winnipeg.
"I don't think it’s enough to just train my staff how to deal with predators. I think the predators should be removed from the stores, so that's what we're going to do,” he said.
If you think you've been had by the "$50 bandit,” you can contact Winnipeg police, Crime Stoppers or email: email@example.com