Scammers Pose as C-Store Officials and Take Receipts

West Virginia State Police warn gas station owners to alert their clerks to the scam.

June 22, 2020

WINFIELD, W.Va.—State Police in West Virginia are warning convenience store operators to be alert for a scam in which people posing as corporate headquarters staff are collecting receipts and cash from unsuspecting store clerks.

The scam involves someone calling the store claiming to be a vice president or other chain official telling the store that a representative will stop by and collect receipts and money in a bank bag, according to a report by MetroNews. The caller provides the clerk with a confirmation number. Then the “official” appears at the store and recites the confirmation number to retrieve the bag with the cash, usually while the clerk is still on the phone with the scammer.

“It really wasn’t a robbery. No force or [weapon] was used, it’s really just an elaborate scam people are using in the area,” Trooper First Class J.E. Garren of the Winfield Detachment of the West Virginia State Police told the news station.

The con artists have successfully struck at least three convenience stores in the state and in neighboring Ohio recently, but they failed to convince clerks at other c-stores in the area to give up their receipts, police said. The scammers appear to “know some ins and outs of a gas station that a normal person probably wouldn’t know,” Trooper Garren said. Police have collected surveillance video of a female suspect.

“We just want everybody to know who works in those businesses it’s not a real thing, and if they get a call just hang up or tell them they need to speak to a manager or they’re not authorized to do that,” Trooper Garren told MetroNews.