A Michigan Target store lost $93,000 in gift cards in four days after being repeatedly scammed, authorities said.
Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson told a weekly briefing that the hatched plan spanned four days in February and was a nationwide commotion known as a “scam K1”.
Officers discovered the scam when a man was pulled over in traffic and discovered he had 106 gift cards with him.
Swanson said the national scheme likely nets department stores millions in losses each week.
An investigator said during the briefing that these scammers are looking for “vulnerable” cashiers that they can target until they find someone to participate in the scam. They use fake credit cards and convince the cashier to use the fake card as cash. Scammers often pressure new or busy cashiers.
The scammers then use the money obtained from the fake cards to buy gift cards and then continue the cycle, making the scam “untraceable”.
“It’s a big theft in our stores…we’re all paying for it,” Swanson said.
Swanson urges cashiers not to give in to pressure from would-be scammers and to call a manager if anything seems odd.
The man accused in the scam has been charged with possession of a fraudulent financial transaction device and receiving or receiving stolen property.
Flint is Genesse County.