How to Identify Scammer in Groceries Store

Groceries: As a retail associate, I’m sure you’ve come across that customer that’s just out to make your life difficult by swindling you into doing something for them that you didn’t mean to do. Maybe they tricked you into giving them too much change back, or tricked you into getting them something for free. It could be as simple as getting you to accept their expired coupons. Whatever they’re playing at, here’s how to spot the scam operator red flags.

Read on: 12 Tips to Manage your Groceries (provisions) Store


Con artists show up in your store during opportunities times. Whenever they think they can find an associate that hasn’t gotten into their groove yet basically. This could be during a shift change, right when the store opens, right before the store closes or during a busy rush.

Scam operators choose their victims carefully. They discriminate. Very young, or very old females are choice. As are new employees or shy employees. Basically someone that appears to be vulnerable.

See also: 12 Times You Should Only Buy Your Groceries at a Supermarket


Scam operators are “nice” people. They’re charismatic and overly complimentary. They can be very agreeable for most of the interaction, this is to make you let your guard down and trust them. Scammers put a lot of thought into their appearance, they want to blend in, not stick out. They also want to appear powerful, so they may dress in expensive looking clothing. They might also try to prove their power or wealth by showing off. For instance, I once had a man show me his glasses frames and say “I bought these for $1000”. No he didn’t, because I’ve never seen a frame more expensive than $550 and those were Chanel. He also said they were Japanese, but they were actually German.

Scam operators try to confuse you. The deal starts off simple, but he/she makes a slight change… it’s not too major but they complicate the process a little bit. Then he/she needs you to make another change, now things are getting too complicated but you’re trying to be accommodating to this nice customer, who is about to spend a lot of money. The scam operators might even go so far as to spend a lot of money but then suddenly he/she wants a refund because he/she changed their mind, or you did something “wrong”. What they’re really trying to do is make your job so complicated and frustrating that they get you to a point where you just want to end this and give them what they want. Do NOT do it.

Read on: 10 Things to Know Before Ordering Groceries on


At the FIRST sign of fishiness, grab a manager! Say something like “I’m gonna involve my general manager to make sure we can fully assist you” At that point you’ll see the scam operators frustration and the bad guy should come out. This is where he/she is gonna make his/her final stand and see what he/she can get out of the manager. The scam operators thinks that the manager is going to try to appease them and save the sale buy taking a little hit and giving him/her something for free or give them a big break. Do not let that happen, make sure you walk away from the situation and clue in the manager that this is not an ordinary sale.

See also: How to Pick Up Groceries on the Most Frugal Budget Possible

More tips

  • Scam operators try to get you alone. Involve other associates or a manager as soon as you become uncomfortable.

  • Scams happen to everyone. Don’t feel lesser or stupid if you get one pulled on you. It’s impossible to detect a scam 100% of the time.

  • Never promise something to a customer if you aren’t 100% sure you alone can make it happen. Don’t let a customer trick you into making outrageous promises.

  • Don’t think fast, think clearly. Take your time and think it through before you make a decision.
  • Never raise your voice, always stay positive and be polite. Kill them with kindness and unwavering rule compliance.

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