Scammer hits Valley businesses

There are many reasons businesses are hesitant to accept $50 bills.

There are many reasons businesses are hesitant to accept $50 bills. Yet another reason has cropped up in the Cowichan Valley as several businesses have fallen victim to one man’s scam.

“A lone man walks into a store, usually a small business or a chain where the cashiers tend to be young people,” explained Cpl. Krista Hobday of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.

“He makes a very small purchase and tenders a $50 bill as payment.

He then jumps into his routine of asking for change in specific denominations, changing his mind frequently.

“By the end of the transaction, he has confused the cashier and made off with anywhere from $75 to $300 and the product he still hasn’t paid for.”

The suspect is described as a 30- to 40-year-old white man, approximately six feet tall and medium to heavy build, with short, straight brown hair and a receding hairline. He has worn grey and black clothing and may have a silver hoop in his left ear.

Police are asking business owners and managers in the Valley to speak with their employees and discuss this form of fraud with them.

“One of the reasons he may be using this type of quick change scam on younger employees is that they have been trained in an environment of debit and credit cards and they may not handle cash transactions very often,” Hobday said.