MADISON, Ala - It's an old scam, being brought back to life just in time for Christmas. But these thieves aren't looking to steal from you, at least not directly. "Thieves, or would-be thieves are sitting in the parking lot waiting for people as they come out to their cars," said Madison Police Capt. John Stringer. "They're looking to see if those receipts end up on the ground."
If those receipts do fall, it's money back in their pockets. "They'll take that receipt, go back into that store and make a selection based on what's on that receipt and bring it to customer service and get it exchanged for cash or a gift card," said Capt. Stringer.
While most think it isn't a huge loss to the retailers, it begins to add up transaction after transaction. "Typically, the smaller stuff; particularly if it's smaller stuff with a high dollar amount, that will work really well for them," said Capt. Stringer.
And that cost gets passed on to you. But, Capt. Stringer says there is an easy fix to this scam. "Let's have a little more security in our receipts, wait until you get home to get rid of them if you're going to, or tear them up and throw them in the trash can," said Stringer.
If you see a receipt, you're asked to pick it up and turn it into the store, or throw it away. You're asked to contact police if you see any suspicious activity in a parking lot.