Retail Workers Reveal 72 Of The Most Desperate Scams A Customer Has Tried To Pull On Them

A recent survey found nearly one in five shoppers said they have executed self-checkout fraud. Some of these tricks even have names: 'the banana trick,' 'the switcheroo,' 'sweethearting.'

But when it comes to serial retail scammers, the fraud goes much further than foolishly ‘mistaking’ carrots for a honeydew melon. It gets way more desperate too. So when someone on Reddit posed a question to retail workers “what is the most desperate scam a customer has tried to pull on you?” the answers crazier than fiction started flooding in.

From trying to pay with a coupon that says “guaranteed and payable by Bill Gates” for an iPod to a person wishing to return something without actually bringing the item, these are some of the most insane retail stories with a comedy, horror and drama twist all at once.


This person came in with a coupon for a free iPod. The fine print said, 'Guaranteed and payable by Bill Gates.' I asked why Bill Gates would pay for an Apple product. They left.

Image credits: coydog33


A customer brought back a jumpsuit for a refund because it had [poop] in it. She claimed it was like that when she bought it. It stank so bad that you could smell it through the taped-up plastic bags she had put it in. It would never have gone unnoticed by the changing room staff, the customer, or the cashier if she actually bought it like that. Someone at the refund counter actually accepted it and put it in the trolley full of other returned items for us to put back out. There was a note stapled to it that said, 'Warning: feces inside.'

Image credits: MateriaBubbles


Our store is carryout only — we don’t deliver the pizzas we make. We once had a customer call and have a long and angry conversation with me because I wouldn’t deliver to her. She proceeded to say (a couple of times), 'You must be new here. I know the owner personally,' to which I responded, 'Well, I’m the owner's daughter, and we don’t deliver.'

Image credits: chweinerneer13


I once saw someone trying to return an empty 10-pound bag of ice because it had melted too quickly.

Image credits: i-guess-so-


A woman came in, grabbed an herb-roasted rotisserie chicken, plopped down in the casual seating area, ate 85% of it with her bare hands, then brought the carcass to customer service and tried to return it

Image credits: Perschnickity


I had a woman try to return something without actually bringing the item

Image credits: Yeah_its_you


A customer called my company and complained that my shirt was untucked so that they could get free coupons. This woman made such a mess out of nothing, and I almost got written up over it.

Image credits: Yunak82


September 12, 2001. USA. A guy in Spartanburg South Carolina calls and says that his weed trimmer was in the twin towers in NYC the day before and got destroyed by terrorists. And demanded I replace it under warranty.

Image credits: Nightmare_Gerbil


I was working at a place that had soft-serve ice cream on the menu. One day, a lady came to the counter and said, 'I'm really sorry, but my daughter dropped her ice cream and she's really sad about it. Do you think you could give me another?' I was about to, then I realized our ice cream machine was broken that day and we hadn't sold any. I looked back at her and told her that the ice cream must've not been from us because of the machine. She turned bright red and mumbled, 'Oh, then I guess it must be from Dairy Queen or something,' and left quickly

Image credits: blindskate101


I worked at a gas station. Once, a guy came in, grabbed a foot-long sub from the sandwich case, opened it up, pulled a hair out of his own head, and stuffed it in the sandwich. He came up to the register and demanded a refund.

Image credits: praynard_kreuger


I used to work at a game store. One time, a woman came in and asked for two PSPs, two Xbox 360s, and a handful of games and accessories. When it was time to pay, she handed me a 'credit card' that was not laminated and appeared to come from a home printer. I told her the card wouldn’t work and she told me to scan it anyway. I scanned her fake credit card, which clearly didn't have a magnetic strip, and of course it didn't work. She told me to just type the number in on the computer. I refused, and she told me she would be back with cash. I put everything back on the shelves. She did not return.

Image credits: RudgerZ


I worked in a grocery store. One night, a guy kept walking back and forth in front of the doors while jerking a plastic bag around. Finally, after his third try, a big jug of wine broke through the bottom of the bag and smashed right in front of the doors. He started yelling that our bags were crap and that we better get him another bottle. I walked him outside and told him we couldn’t replace it because we didn’t have any wine jugs filled with black cherry Kool-Aid. No, wine doesn’t smell like that.

Image credits: FinsterHall


I was working customer service, and part of my job was to answer any incoming phone calls. We got a call from a guy claiming to be from technical support. He told me that he wanted to update our systems, and to do so, I needed to follow his instructions. I obviously knew this was a scam but decided to play along. He told me to log in to our computer, ring up a gift card for $100, say he paid cash, then read off the gift card number for him. He said that would update our systems! Still the funniest scam attempt I've ever seen

Image credits: CadeRooney


When I was at Little Caesars, this lady came in with her pizza box and proceeded to tell the cashier she had bought the pizza the previous day and it was burnt, so she wanted a new one. There were only two slices left in the box, and it was a day old. They still gave her a new pizza. Not worth the fight for a $5 Hot-n-Ready.

Image credits: peezuhparty


I worked at Ulta, and someone tried to return some liter-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner, but they had filled them with water and froze them. The temperature and condensation were a dead giveaway, so we refused to return their items. They proceeded to call corporate and complain, so they got a $100 gift certificate and we got b**ched at.

Image credits: lred_b*tch


Years ago I worked at a small hardware store where they were constantly getting huge rolls of copper wire stolen. One day this guy and his girlfriend come in to return a roll. I was a few months in on the returns counter. They had no receipt and when I scanned the item for the return it was only doing the price per foot. I couldn’t figure out how to get the sku or the price for the whole roll. Called the manager and he comes out and right away knows there’s no way these people bought a roll and returned it. So he asks when they bought it and they say two weeks ago ( the common response ) and my manager tells them “oh really because the last time we sold an entire roll was over 3 months ago” the guy starts to get brave and tells him “so you’re saying I stole it?!” And my manager says yes. They end up leaving and left the roll behind. Before they leave the store the guy says “I’m coming back and bringing the cops” manager says “go ahead that way you can explain to them how you stole the roll”

Image credits: celesticaxxz


I sold a guy a phone years ago when I worked for a wireless carrier. I spent an hour getting all his information transferred and setting up the phone. He came in the next day with a shattered screen. Apparently he didn’t remember that I was the rep who helped him and proceeded to tell me that the phone was like that when he left the store. Needless to say, the phone was not replaced

Image credits: valhallan1984


I worked at Aldi, which has a return policy where you get your money back plus an item of equal or lesser value. One customer routinely returned a gallon of milk with just a quarter remaining, claiming it was 'rancid.' He’d then get a new gallon and his money back. This went on almost daily for two weeks until the district manager finally put his foot down.

Image credits: Awit1992


I used to work at Best buy. This guy came in and returned a laptop saying that the box had some old laptop in it. He was yelling and screaming that we dont know how to do business. Manager gave him full refund. We started to check that old laptop he brought in. It won't turn on. Looks like the motherboard was toast. We pulled the hard drive out and started checking the data. Hard drive was completely fine with everything on it. We started looking for the clues and found the pictures of the guy who returned the laptop. It was his old machine. We had all his info. Manager called him and said he has 15 mins to bring the new laptop back or he is calling police. That guy came in, dropped the laptop at front desk. Never saw him again in the store

Image credits: vick7171


Years ago I worked at a Walmart and this guy comes in trying to return his "Wii" that doesn't work. "I just bought this for my kids last week and it's already broken but they won't take it back because I lost my receipt."

The "Wii" in question was the most beat up and disgusting looking Gamecube I have ever seen, like he found it in a landfill or something. I should also point out that I wasn't working the return desk or even a cashier. I was stocking the food department. Turns out he was trying to talk every employee in the store into either giving him a refund or a Wii.

Image credits: Pineapple_Pistol


I worked at Arby's, and we closed for a week while our store got remodeled. We were all there one day during that week preparing to reopen when someone called and claimed we'd messed up their drive-thru order the previous day. They demanded that we remake their order for free. The manager had to fight laughter while telling him that we'd been closed for a week

Image credits: saucebald


Worked in a bottle shop. One afternoon a shady character entered and spent 10 minutes browsing the liquor section. I stayed at the checkout and watched him on the CCTV. He ended up shoving two bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue down his pants and walked out. Store policy is not to confront shoplifters; that's what insurance is for. I called the police and burnt the footage onto a DVD for them to collect. About an hour later the same guy returns with the bottles demanding a cash refund because he 'purchased the wrong type'. Just as I was telling him I can't do a refund without a receipt the police walked in to collect the footage. He left with them in handcuffs.

Image credits: AtelesJubatus


A guy comes in to fill his sons aderall script. Guy is super twitchy and son is chill as could be. For all controls we are supposed to run a report that shows every where in the state they have filled any. Of course the report is a mess, multiple pharmacys, multiple scripts, multiple doctors, all the red flags. To top it off an aderall script within that week had been filled so we really couldnt fill this one.

Dad comes back we tell him that we cant fill it and dad starts going on about how his wife must have filled it but they need some for today blah blah blah. We decline and his last words to us are ‘my son needs them for a birthday he has to go to today cant you help?’

No dude we cant help. Youre clearly taking your sons pills, get help and stop using your son to get high on prescription drugs.

Image credits: moogula1992


I witnessed one. I was waiting to get my hair cut at my local barber and this woman hobbles in. She had a bandage on her head, a bandage over her eye, her arm in a sling, and a cane. She sat down and launched into this horrible sob story about how she had been in this terrible accident and had spent all her money at the hospital and her car was totalled and now she had no way to get back home, etc. And of course asked for money. My barber was entirely unperturbed and said "Okay, just let me finish with my customers." The lady, thinking she'd hit a score, sat patiently as he did five haircuts, then he calmly walked over to the phone and called the police. Boss.


Customer returned a fake ring for $100. They had a real receipt that physically described the ring they brought in. I didn't recognize it, even checked for it. But ultimately accepted the return because it seemed legit. What they did was buy a real ring (or obtain a real receipt some other way). Then buy a fake $5 ring that matched the description on the real receipt. Return fake ring, get cash. Actually pretty smart.


Not super dramatic, but kind of sad. I was working the register in a mall department store and policy was to only take returns without tags if they had a receipt.

Middle aged woman comes up and says she wants a refund on some clothes. She dumps out what amounts to dirty laundry of clothes that haven't been sold for at least a year and a half. I asked if there was anything wrong, as being well worn, fit couldn't have been the issue.

Lady says, no, but that the owner, her son, is in jail now and doesn't need them. She wanted full retail price, which she was happy to tell me what that should be. I tried politely enforcing the policy, but she wasn't having it. Called for a manager, who, to my dismay, gave her what she asked for. That was more than I was going to earn over two nights of work.

I guess they needed the money more than the store did but I couldn't believe the gall of somebody to legally rob a store like that.


They cut off a tag off an expensive jacket, (I saw them do this), walked up to me and tried to "return it". Security showed them the doors.


I was working at Buckle for a while in college.

They offer 10% Military Discount with photo ID.

Lady comes to my register on Black Friday with an alleged photo copy of her husbands DD -214.

I kindly told her that would not be accepted and she was not eligible for a discount unless she could produce dependent ID on an official card.

She was pissed.

I gave zero f*cks.

Guess who paid full price?


This probably doesn't really count as a scam, but had a teenage boy come into the store and say he had no money but needed condoms desperately for tonight or he "wouldn't lose (his) virginity". I really felt for the dude, so I ended up buying him some myself.


When I worked on a checkout: a woman pulled a barcode label from a container of $4 tinned fruit and stuck it over the barcode of a $25 container of medjool dates. She pretended that she didn't do it. Another time a man carried a $30 bag of dog food the customer service counter without paying for it and asked for a refund. My manager gave it to him even though we both knew he had stole it while we watched him. Oh, and another time a group of people were using fake credit cards to steal. Not sure exactly how it worked but they ended up typing in a different card number into the the eftpos terminal while another dude tried to distract you. These guys were super friendly and chatty and probably thought I was young and dumb but I caught them trying to take off with about $500 worth of groceries. They were all like, "Just let us go and get some cash out, we'll be back soon to pay". They never returned and my manager gave me a box of chocolates for picking up on it. Proudest moment of my retail career.


I had a customer come to purchase some stuff, and they had found a coupon from 3 years ago on Google Images for 50% off whole purchase. I told her I can't do that, and the only one we had going at the time was not viable for her purchase. She yelled stupid loud, stormed out cursing, and I felt good. She emailed corprate, and I got in trouble for making her upset.

Image credits: PoolAddict41


"I'd like to return this unopened pack of cigarettes I purchased earlier today at your establishment". Might be paraphrasing a little bit.

I open the store everyday, hadn't seen this dude once that day. Looked at his cigarettes, it's a brand we don't carry. Asked him for a receipt to "confirm" he purchased them here, but he obviously didn't have one.

"That's fine! If you can just tell me what time you were in here today I can look it up on our cameras to confirm your purchase."

My God the backpedaling and stuttering. I grabbed his cigarette pack and fake examined them.

"Wait a moment sir, are you sure you purchased these at this store? I don't think we carry this brand". He took the cigarettes back, came up with something about his brother must have yada yada and then he walked out.

A tobacco store in town sells some of the brands we carry at a much cheaper price, so people like to try and do returns at our store to make a quick buck. We generally don't take any returns on tobacco, but this guy didn't even scope out his mark.

Image credits: CoolWaveDave


Had a customer return a vacuum cleaner once, my supervisor did the return thankfully. The box went back on the floor unchecked. The next customer who wanted to buy it checked it out before they went to the register. The whole [friggin] thing had been replaced with a catering size tin of beetroot.

Image credits: [deleted]


At my old job, they used to have sales pretty often and would also give out coupons for specific dates. For Boxing Day, they had a 30% off sale and we'd also given out coupons that would start the next day. Lady comes in on Boxing Day and we worked out that she'd get more of a deal if she used the coupon instead, so I offered to hold her items for her. I explicitly told her that she wouldn't be able to get the 30% off and she decided to use the coupon instead.

She comes back the next day, goes to cash to purchase her items and gets angry because they wouldn't give her both the 30% off and let her use the coupon. She told the cashier that the person she'd spoken to the day before had told her she could do that, sees me, and says "it was that girl who told me!"

I went to cash to speak to her (I was a keyholder at the time) and her story changed about three times through the whole thing. First she said that I told her she could combine the discounts, then she said that I never told her she couldn't combine the discounts, and then finally it was "Well I don't understand why I'm not able to do this." Another manager came over to help sort it out and as I walked away I heard her saying that I was a liar.

Now, I work at Sephora and we always get people trying to return fake products. My favourite one was when someone returned a face mask but had put a can of tuna in the box instead of the actual face mask.

Image credits: ShadyLady709Q49


Oh boy, back in highschool when I worked part time at a KFC, there was this one fat man who would come in, order a 2 piece quarter pack, and then claim we forgot his chicken. Like, when we turned around to fetch his drink at the end of the order, he would open the box, take out the chicken pieces and hide them in his pockets. Hot chicken. Right in his pockets.

I got so fed up with everyone just giving him extra chicken all the time that I demanded he turned out his pockets one day when he tried to pull it and WOW LO AND BEHOLD this guy has his pockets full of drum sticks.

Image credits: ampmetaphene


A kid came with a spectacularly exploded soda can to an employee and asks if he's not entitled to a free soda because this one exploded in his hands inside the store before he even purchased it.

Soda cans don't explode on their own most of the time, so we checked the cameras. The kid stood for around 5-10 minutes talking to his friend all the while poking the can with his keys.


I worked at Best Buy in the late 90s when I was in HS and a guy set off the alarm when he was leaving and it turned out he had like 8 CDs in his pockets which he claimed that he had bought at the mall across the street before he came to Best Buy and it must have been his house arrest anklet that had set off the alarm


Telling me she had a voucher for 50% off in her emails, but she didn’t have a copy with here. I was like no hun, nice try.

Image credits: ColourfulSmarties


I work at a movie theatre. We have a 5 dollar discount day. A customer comes over and starts telling me how she was there the prior day and that we had given them the wrong soda and her Diabetic husband had drank it and suddenly had to go to the hospital to get medication to "cure him".

Several things wrong with that story:

That's not how diabetes works. You don't die from one sip of soda, and generally if you did, you'd have insulin to take.

The employee she had complained to in order to call me over had been the only concessionists the prior day and somehow she failed to identify him when I asked her who it was.

I asked her for a ticket stubs or proof of purchase, and she came up with nothing. I went to the attendance for the prior day and pulled the report for the movie they claimed to have saw. To my delight the showtime they claimed to have seen had zero tickets sold to it.

I printed the report and went back to meet them.

"Yea, sorry looks like there were zero tickets sold to that showtime." And I showed her the report. She then tried to say we sold her tickets to the wrong movie. I told her that was impossible because then she would have been in the wrong auditorium. She had no response to that. Then she spluttered that she "guessed she would just go buy tickets" and I said "yea I guess so"

She left.

Image credits: dawrina


I worked for my mom in law at her home decor store. I had an older woman come in and when I rang her up she said she got a discount because she was the owner's mom. My immediate reaction was to yell, "GRANDMA!" and throw my arms out like I wanted a hug. She left very quickly. BTW it was not my grandma in law.


Used to work customer service at a hardware store. You get so jaded by junkies trying to return stolen items I just started handing out refunds based on how good the stories were. Your dad with dementia bought circuit breakers every single day and recently died? Refund. You don't need these commercial sized copper elbows because you bought too many for your residential plumbing project? Nah.


Kmart returns counter, had a guy try to return a CD (with receipt). The shrink wrap had been sliced and the CD taken out. He claimed it was like that when he bought it. I told him I couldn't return it for cash but could swap it for the same thing. He went to get a new CD and brought some other artist. Told him it had to be the exact same thing. I had the electronics employee bring up the right CD. As I checked that they were the same and told him I would give him a new one, a smile grew on his face... which quickly melted away when I took out a knife and cut open the plastic on the CD. No, you can't return that one later.

Another scammer that I actually caught was this guy who was paralysed on the left half of his body. He walked slowly around the store, dropping stuff and drooling. (Never did find out if he was actually paralysed or just part of the scam) One day I caught him bagging Oxy-Clean in his cart. Notified LP and she watched him. He went through self checkout and told me he bought the Oxy-Clean in electronics. LP called electronics, no such sale was made. I think she let him go that time but the next time he came in, he got a police escort.

This one was an insider job. This guy who worked in electronics also did layaway. One of the service desk girls would put a giant bag of dog food in layaway. Then the electronics guy would empty the bag and fill it with expensive electronics. Turns out they had been getting away with this for years then the LP staff changed and the new lady knew how to police the place.


I had a customer try to pay with a check using an ID that was very obviously made of paper. When I wouldn't accept it she tried to get her boyfriend to fight me. He laughed and awkwardly walked out of the store. Leaving her there, crying now, from the embarrassment of failure I guess?


When I worked at the service desk of a local grocery store we had this lady who was super skinny and wore sunglasses and long sleeves all the time, one day she came in with a friend and tried to return beauty items (we didn’t have a beauty/makeup section) and claimed she had no receipt due to “short term memory loss”. It was so hard not to laugh in her face, she had attempted to return things this way numerous times. We all knew what she was doing.


I was working in a betting shop during the 2014 Football World Cup.

We had this one really awful customer, must have been in his 80s and always wildly inappropriate (asking what colour my underwear was, did I need someone to keep me warm tonight etc) but I couldn't do anything as the higher ups wanted to squeeze money from him.

Anyway, the night before the final match he comes in and tells me he wants to bet on Germany to win. I spent about ten minutes explaining to him that as it was the final he could no longer have a broad bet like that, instead he'd have to choose between a 90 minute win or winning in extra time, on penalties etc. I showed him the odds for all of the different bets and he ended up choosing the 90 minute win, I put the bet through for him and off he went into the night to be creepy somewhere else.

The match plays out and of course Germany wins in extra time. The next day Unnamed Creepy Dude comes in grinning from ear to ear and telling me how he's a winner. Oh boy. Again I have to explain to him that his bet isn't valid as he predicted they'd win before 90 minutes, and they hadn't. Dude flies into a rage about how I'm a money grabbing slut who's jealous of his riches and I have to pay him out or he'll call the police. I tell him to leave my store or I'll call them myself, he complies.

A few days later I come back from my lunch break to see him ranting at my cashier, I ask what the problem is and he throws me his bet slip for the world cup, only now he's written 'extra time' on it in pen and is trying to get my less experienced staff member to pay him out. I tell him that when we scan bets the computer takes an image of it, obviously the slip he has given to us has been altered as it doesn't match what's on the screen (I even turned the computer to show him) and that counts as fraud. Again, he leaves spouting nonsense about how women shouldn't be working anyway because they can't count or read.

Next week I get told I have to go to a meeting as I've had a complaint filed against me by a customer. The day of the meeting rolls around and I'm greeted by my area manager, security director and CREEPY DUDE. He had phoned the customer line and said I'd refused to pay his bet and taken the money for myself. We ended up bringing up the CCTV of the night he originally placed the bet, complete with audio, to prove without a shadow of doubt that he was in the wrong. Dude won't accept this and starts screaming that we're all thieves, we faked the video, and threatening to get a lawyer. Security director escorts him off the premises and he is banned from all of our chains indefinitely.

The kicker is, if his bet had won it would have been a whopping £55.

Tl;dr old dude is creepy, refuses to accept that his bet isn't a winner, makes threats and escalates to head office, is banned from all stores.


Had a guy try to return 2 sega cd games for cash. Problem was they were wrapped in Saran Wrap. And then had the gall to exchange them for properly wrapped games so he could go across the street to wal-mart and return them for cash there. Him and his buddy must have really needed beer and weed money.

Also have seen people try on new shoes, put the old ones in the box, and walk out with the new ones.

Had an old man act like he was pulling a gun out of his waist just to get away from loss prevention.

And one of my favorites, had the two women grab a bag from luggage and put all of the rolls of film in the bag. Then try to ditch the bag because we were following them.


I worked at a jewel many, many years ago. Opening shift as a cashier, a man comes through with two 24 packs of Pepsi. It’s opening shift, so at that time we count our registers and confirm they’ve got the correct opening cash. We didn’t carry too much cash, and we all know how much is in the drawer to start.

He ends up paying with a $100 bill for these sodas. I counted back his change with mostly 20’s, (all the 20’s I had just counted. There was no more 20’s I could have given him.) and I don’t know how he did this, but he shuffled them in his hand, and showed me that I supposedly short changed him. Now, I knew immediatly that he was a piece of shit.

My store wasn’t sh*tty, so I told him that I would call a manager over and have them double check the register. The manager came, counted down the register and explained that the drawer was balanced, which means I didn’t short change anybody. But, if for whatever reason the drawer turned up $20 over at night, we could give him a call.

The manager tries to take his info down and he asks for his name and the guy thinks about it and says “Steve...Bush!”

F**k you “Steve Bush.” You’re a sack of lying shit who tries to scam 16 year olds out of $20.


Worked at a liquor store - a customer came in to buy 3 airplane bottles of vodka, I pulled the bottles from the case behind the register and finished our transaction. He came in 30 min later and said that he didnt realize until he got out that all three bottles were mysteriously empty and didnt realize it until he opened each one and thus broke the seal.


I worked at a well known clothing retailer who made it their motto that customer service was the main priority basically. Was working returns when a woman came in with worn out torn up dirty clothes from a decade ago and claimed she didn’t like them and wanted to return them. Several items of clothing actually were brands our store has never sold. I went back and checked with the manager about what she wanted to do, and she told me that the customer was always right, even though these weren’t even from our store and were super old and well worn. So i had to give her a bunch of store credit for stuff she never bought from us...


Picked up something from the back shelf and tried to “return it.” You wouldn’t believe how often they do this.


I had a woman try to “return” something without the item. When I told her I could in no way do that, she brought something up to me and was like it was one of these, can you return it. She tried so hard to get me to return something she said she would bring in later if I gave her her money back then. It was ridiculous.


I was in line behind a lady at homegoods, and from what I heard she had taken clearance stickers off items and then stuck them on full price items. She had done this with all 10+ things in her cart. The cashier called her out so hard, for a couple things she was like, “I just put these on the floor myself yesterday” and the lady got all huffy and stormed out. It was pretty funny


Customer asked us to open the packaging for something in front of a manager and a coworker, is happy with the product and takes that. Goes to the cashiers and ask for a discount because the packaging was open. Though cashiers called a manager for their permission and it was the same manager who helped open the product.


Had a young guy trying to buy alcohol once try to use his girlfriend's ultrasound as ID.

Tried to tell him that you don't have to be over 18 to get pregnant!! In the end I just pointed at the poster that showed the approved forms of ID we could accept and told him that ultrasounds weren't on it

So many people seemed to forget their licence at home. Well go get it, buddy, you won't get a beer until I see it


I had a guest come in and ask for free samples because she was a teacher and wanted to fill the other teachers “welcome back to school” bags. I told her they were unfortunately only gifts with purchase. She still kept nagging me about it so I gave her a cute little bag and a few small samples because I felt bad and I could override them in the system. After that she still asked me for more stuff and tried making me feel guilty that she just had knee surgery and needed more free stuff for her 20 other teacher friends. I told her no Nd she pouted out the door


Former worker. Name-dropping the owner's name while saying every thing was wrong and they were going to call him personally and were doing this super douchebaggy exaggerated phone button push thing... Surprise surprise they didn't know him, passed it off as "well he isn't answering" with that voice that comes from a nose a mile high.


Not necessarily a “scam” however a woman was in returning Spanx (? Think that’s the name, those knickers that hold in your fat). She had obviously worn them before, and forgot to take off the USED SANITARY PAD. I refused a refund and she asked to see my manager. She said she put the pad on them so she could try them on. She was causing a huge scene and manager eventually agreed to store credit and told me to put it through. I refused to put it through on the basis that I wasnt touching the knickers to get the barcode from them. Honestly some people have no shame.


Worked at Arby’s as a teenager (this was around 1990). A guy comes in, orders a sandwich and fries, and wants to pay with a check. This being the olden days, people paid with check all the time. But this guy tries to tell me it’s “easier for the bank” if he makes it out to himself instead of to Arby’s because... well, he fired off some convoluted, off-the-cuff bullsh*t designed to gish gallop me into buying the story. I was young and naive, but not that naive. He got mad when I denied him, called me stupid. I asked if he’d like to talk to the manager and he agreed. Three minutes later my manager is giving the guy stink eye and the dude leaves with no sandwich. Nice try


We had some members of the travelling community pull into our car park one summer. Guy comes to the till to buy 2 patio kits at £50 each. I tell him the total is £100 and he says he bought one for £50 the day before in another branch...I say yes but you're buying 2 so its doubled. He then starts to argue that Im over charging him. This went on for 10 minutes with me explaining that hes buying 2 so its more expensive than one. His entire plan was to attempt to hold up the queue to a point where I'd give him one for free by acting like a dumb f**k. Once he realised the queue had disappeared, you know due to it being a f**king huge DIY store with multiple cashiers, he suddenly clicked and paid up, never to be seen again.


Customer came in for her 1 hour facial appointment to try our skincare brand in a department store. It was $75, or you could purchase products to that value or above. She came out from her facial, pampered, requested the whole range, then exclaimed she had left her credit card in her bag which she had left in the car. She quickly said, “I’ll be back in five” - and never returned. We cottoned on pretty quickly, but she had disappeared, and the phone number she had given us was fake.


I work at a convenience store, and we sell phone chargers for exorbitant prices because they prey on the desperate who need a charger RIGHT NOW. People steal these chargers all the time and try to bring them back for a refund. We don't take them back without a receipt with our store address on it anymore because this is such a common occurrence.

I also had a guy steal a fidget spinner (I watched him do it from the aisle) and try to bring it back for the whole refund of $6.


I used to work for a store that did trade ins for old gaming systems. One day a man comes in trying to trade in his xbox 360 to get credit for the (at the time) new Xbox one. We’re pretty lax about the condition of the product. As long as it turns on, we’ll take it. I’m talking to the man as I’m taking the xbox box out of the bag he brought it in, he’s pleasant. I open the box up and... cockroaches just come crawling out. I almost drop it, and I tell the guy we can’t accept this. Boy, does he get mad. He has the gall to ask where in our terms does it specifically say they can’t accept this? The manager gets involved and he eventually leaves, only to come back the next day to try it on another employee. I radio the manager when I recognize him. Guy puts up a fuss again and the manager eventually tells him he’ll give him the trade in credit IF he takes his bug ridden machine with him and never brings it back. I still get creepy crawlies thinking about those cockroaches.


Not exactly a scam but twoish years ago I had a customer try to use a coupon from 2011. His excuse was that he’d “been on the road a lot” and didn’t get a chance to use it. Tried to argue with me and demanded the manager who (no surprise) said there was nothing we could do and he finally backed down.


I once had a dude try to score a free iPhone.

He came into the department I worked in, and started describing this vague iPhone to us, saying he'd lost it in here earlier.
No other details were given, like phone case, or specific color, just an iPhone. Further questions were asked about where he thinks he might of left it in here and he just went quiet and said, "It's fine, actually. Maybe somebody else has it." And left.

Our opinion is he knew that sometimes stores will keep people's phones that they find until the owners come back and then they hand over the phone. He wanted to score a free iPhone


I work at an Italian deli/specialty market. It’s family owned and has a super tight knit cast of employees. It’s also in a rougher part of town. One day, a presumably homeless woman came into the store. No big deal, we’re by the shelter and a lot of the homeless folks are friendly and just getting something nice to eat. However, this lady was clearly out of her mind. Whether it was drugs or mental illness wasn’t clear. Honestly probably both. She was in the store for an hour just harassing employees and customers. Eventually, the owner (the Italian man after which the store is named) had to intervene. He firmly asked the lady to leave, but she had a surprising response: “oh it’s okay, I work here.”

Imagine the surprise on the owner’s face. HE certainly didn’t remember hiring her. Dumbfounded, he told her that was impossible, since he’s in charge of the hiring, to which she responded: “oh, are you hiring?”

Honestly I’ve got to respect a good gambit. Unfortunately for her, it didn’t seem to pan out. I don’t have any new coworkers yet


I've been in and out of retail for 10 years, and one time at a part time gig that I had (I have a full time job, too), this couple, a man and a woman, came in, looking sketchy as all hell. Definitely had a drug problem. They were scanning each and every register looking for gift cards, particularly those ones where they were prepaid like Visa or MasterCard. I knew their game; I've dealt with this before. The woman came to my register. Originally they wanted to go to self checkout, but I told them they cannot purchase gift cards there (they can, I just wanted to catch them lol). The woman comes up to me, purchases $400 worth of gift cards and when its time to pay, I ask her for her ID because she wants to use "her" credit card. The ID she had and who she was were two different people. The woman in the drivers license had no tattoos on her face, this woman had stars below her eye. I told her this is not you, I will not sell these to you, and I will call the police. She booked it out of there. Unfortunately the man got away with it, because he had purchased his at another register before the woman came to me. And would you believe, I got in trouble for doing that?


I work at a clothing store, and about a year ago I had a very very drunk 50+ year old lady come through my line. After ringing up her $100+ worth of clothes, she then began to hit on me and insinuate that she could “work” for the free clothes, if you get what I mean. That was the quickest nope I have ever said in my life, would not recommend lol


The store was open until midnight the two last nights of the financial year calendar. Apparently the store thought someone might come in at 11:59 the last chance they had to deck out their entire office with new laptops and chairs and shit. After about 9pm the store was pretty much a complete ghost town. By 10pm-11pm the store was the cleanest it ever was since it was built.

On this one night the phone rang at about 11:30pm. The guy wanted to know if we were still open because he wanted to buy something specific. It turned out we had it in stock and he told me - several times - that he was going to get out of his pyjamas, get dressed and come down to the store. I was, like, "Sure. The item will be at the front counter whenever you're here to collect it."

So he turns up and tells me again that he had to get out of his pyjamas, get dressed and come down to the store to pick up this item. It was about 11:45pm by this point and so I just told him how much it was going to cost and then he asked for a discount. I said "Why?" he said "For being your last customer of the evening!"

I told him no, there's no reason for giving out that kind of a discount and besides, we weren't closed yet. There might be other customers, you know. He might not have been the last one that night and besides, it costs what it costs. He told me again that he had to get out of his pyjamas, get dressed and come to the store to buy this item.

He paid full price for all his troubles.


Customer shows me a coupon on his phone.

Several problems with this.

It's against corporate policy to scan coupons off the phone. There's a sheet of paper taped to the counter with all of the rules and it's like the sixth one on it.

When my kowtowing assmunch of a manager scanned the stupid f*cking thing anyways the system rejected the coupon saying that the coupon wasn't issued to him

The offer that the coupon was for was different than the offer shown on his phone.

There was an Instagram stamp on the coupon on his phone.

Also: Customer tries to return some makeup without a receipt. I look it over and tell her I can't return it. She tries to say that we have to since we sell it here and what not. I tell her I can't return it because it has a security label from the grocery store that's five miles down the road. She books it out and leaves said makeup behind.


Not traditional retail, but had a client swear she did not receive two packages from me and was refusing to pay the invoice for the second package from more than six months prior. I knew she was lying but she was extremely rude and insistent. I was able to go back on all records and was able to find both a photo of the first package on her front door step (super lucky as that’s not our normal delivery procedure to have photographed evidence), and a signature of receipt for the second one with her name very clearly signed, dated four days later. I emailed the evidence and never heard back from her again. Not even an apology email or phone call, which just confirms she knew she was lying.


Just yesterday I had a 'till tapper'/'quick change artist' try to money shuffle me for what would've been a grand sum of $5. Pissed him off when I wouldn't play his game.

Next best was someone calling wanting to know if we had spare empty boxes for Xbox consoles, because he 'wanted to prank his kid and give him an empty box'. I know very well he wanted to try to stuff the box with who knows what, and attempt a return. Of course, the folks at customer service check such boxes for actual product, and match serials to those on the box.


she was trying to steal towels from the towel department because "my water broke"

she even made fake blood and a realistic crying baby come out of her vagina

tossed them right outta the store. i still wonder where she got such a realistic anamatronic baby though, it was warm to the touch and everything