(KNSI) – The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office is warning stores of a new type of fraud. The sheriff’s office says several jurisdictions in the Twin Cities have seen a large number of thefts using debit or credit cards.
Officials say the scam is called “cash only” or “K1.” The scam works when a customer goes to the checkout with cards that look like credit cards, but on the back of each card there are cashier instructions on how to work with the card.
The crook will swipe the card and, when that doesn’t work, give it to the cashier and make up a story that the card is a “cash only” card. The scammer will also say that the cards come with “two-step verification”. After following the steps, the cash drawer opens and the check-in treats it as a cash transaction, but the cashier thinks the credit card worked.
The suspects then leave with their object and a receipt. The crooks then take this item to another store and return it for money.
Several different teams were identified as operating this type of program, and all were from the Flint, Michigan area.
As late as December 15, a team of at least five people hit six different stores within 4 hours. These establishments were Target and Walmart locations in Brooklyn Center, Vadnais Heights, Roseville, Fridley, Coon Rapids, and Blaine.
Authorities are warning St. Cloud area stores to keep an eye out for the scam.
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