A hapless employee at the Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin was tricked into handing over all the money in her cash register to an unarmed man. Either the scam was so complicated she believed it, or she was extremely gullible. The perpetrator had tried the ploy at several other stores in the mall before he hit pay dirt at Trade Secret, a beauty supply shop.
According to Wauwatosa Now, a man who called himself Mark Stein called the store and asked for the manager by name. Since the manager wasn't available, "Stein" told the employee who answered the phone that he was from the company's corporate office, and was calling to help a customer who had lost her wallet at the store.
Someone had found the wallet and turned it in, with $1,200 in cash inside. But the money had disappeared when the owner came to claim it. "Stein" said surveillance footage showed an employee removing the money from the wallet, and it needed to be replaced so the rightful owner would not sue.
Okay, if this story doesn't sound fishy yet to some trusting souls, just wait 'til you read the next part.
"Stein" instructed the employee to collect all the money in the store, grab a taxi and meet a man who was supposedly the owner's fiancé, at a McDonald's in nearby Milwaukee. She was to tell no one of her activities because of the ongoing internal investigation.
Now if the McDonald's in Milwaukee part didn't sound suspicious to this particular employee, what about her colleagues who saw here scooping up the cash and heading for the door? Didn't anyone think to question this?
Apparently not. The employee followed all "Stein's" directions perfectly, and ended up giving away more than $400 of the store's money to the man she met in McDonald's. It's unclear whether or not she got fries with that. But her actions were validated when, after returning to the store, "Stein" called back to tell her she did a good job and she would be getting a raise. Oh, and if the store took in any more money that day, she should deliver that as well, he added.
Employees at other businesses in the mall, such as a Rosetta Stone kiosk and Spencer Gift, received similar calls, but they promptly hung up. The employee at the Things Remembered stall took a call and was asked to retreat to a hallway, bathroom or back office for privacy, because of the call's confidential nature. When the employee returned to the kiosk, several pieces of jewelry valued at around $120 were missing.
This all leaves one to wonder if the scammer was super slick, or if the employees were super naive.
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