“Can I give you cash and you buy what I need on your card?”

Had a weird thing happen last night. I was at a store with my girlfriend buying cookies and a woman comes up and asks if she could give me cash and put whatever she needed on my card. I didn’t really know what to say, never had anyone ask me this, also the girlfriend was buying the cookies and was in the process of checking out, so I said no and left it at that.

Anyone else experience this? Was this some sort of scam?

The content was posted by MahoningRed13 on 2021-11-17 15:25:37 via reddit

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  1. amyaurora says:

    Unless the store stopped taking cash, this makes no logical sense. Bet the cash was counterfeit.

  2. Why couldn’t she buy the stuff herself? She had the “cash.” Scam.

  3. 1. Cash is counterfeit


    2) Real cash, but sleight of hand on the amount to give you less than you think


    3) Real cash, but diversion. While you’re distracted dealing with this lady, someone lifts your purse/wallet/phone/etc.


    4) Psychological manipulation to get you to do something nice for them, and then they will follow up with some bigger con.

  4. Whole_Win8438 says:

    “No you may not. Goodbye”

  5. memorex1150 says:

    As others have said, it’s fake (to some degree) money. I think #3 is the most likely scenario, however:

    1) Counterfeit money of some sort;

    2) “Stage Money” – you can buy VERY real looking money that they use in plays, movies, etc. It’s passable at a glance/distance;

    3) It was REAL money and she was going to flash you real money, let’s say $40. She will show you two very real $20 bills. Then, as the exchange of money-for-credit is taking place, she will switch out the real $20 bills with fake $20’s, pieces of paper, etc. Bait-and-switch tactic. This tactic is also used with gift cards that are showing fully loaded and then at the last second swapped out for fake cards.

    Also, FYI, had she done #3 (or any of these, to be honest), it’s money laundering. And, yup, all of these are quite the felony!

  6. MahoningRed13 says:

    Thanks all! Never heard of this before, knew something was wrong here!

  7. Freshly printed cash?

  8. FrodoMoji says:

    I heard of it happening in BC with a taxi scam. Taxi man and customer are arguing about taxi man not wanting to take cash. Customer appeals to near couple to put on their card and he will pay them ten dollars in cash, the cost of the ride.

    Wife gives customer her card, wanting to help. Taximan and customer switch out her card with a phony one and get 1000 out of her account before she can shut it down.

  9. 4Ever2Thee says:

    Definitely fishy and you were right to say no and move on. Probably counterfeit money as many people here have mentioned. I’ve never had this happen but I have had people on at least a dozen occasions ask me if I can give them cash and use their EBT food stamps card to buy all of my groceries, always at a discounted rate. Like say I have $100 in groceries, I would use their EBT card to buy my groceries and give them $80 in cash. I was a young college student so I didn’t get what they were getting out of it at first, but they most likely wanted to use the cash to buy drugs or booze which the food stamps card obviously won’t cover. The grocery store wasn’t in the nicest area but it was the closest one to the house I lived in through college so I went there pretty often. They would walk around and act like they were shopping, then try to find someone who had a cart full of stuff that EBT would cover and come up and ask if you would do it for them. I never did it because it just felt off but it took me a while to realize why they were doing it.

  10. Edward_Morbius says:

    Even without knowing what’s behind it, I always refuse stupid requests.

    There’s absolutely no reason why somebody with cash can’t walk in and buy whatever it is they need.

  11. Probably a counterfeit money and hoping you would not suspect and notice it.

  12. carolineecouture says:

    Or it could have been that she didn’t have enough money when she went to give you cash, and she hoped you’d be too embarrassed or flustered to stop her. This kind of thing happens all the time when people go to the checkout and claim they don’t have money, and a kind stranger offers to cover the groceries only to find that the person gets way more than they expected. Some people don’t call shenanigans and let them get away with it.

  13. deadlyhausfrau says:

    Either the money is fake or the woman has been banned from the store for some reason. Odds are good that the money is fake.

  14. ADHDCuriosity says:

    I’ve been on the register side of this. Basically one of a few things happens:

    They have you pay first, then leave with the merch, leaving you holding the whole amount.

    They hand you cash which we didn’t take because it’s counterfeit.

    They hand you cash that they don’t want to hand us because it’s obviously counterfeit and are betting on you not looking too hard.

    They want you to 3rd party them some alcohol or cigs. (Illegal btw.)

    If none of the above were true, they’d have no reason to not hand that same cash over to the cashier. If it’s a cards only place, well, they will just have to go somewhere that takes cash, like every other honest person.

  15. But what kind of cookies did you get?

  16. I have someone try to ask me to do this before because they trying to cash out the ebt card for cash. Don’t do it. It is illegal.

  17. WhyDidIGrowThisStach says:

    This smells fishy to me but there is one slightly plausible explanation: The store being card only. I bring this up because my local Neighborhood Walmart is currently card only.

    I was recently waiting on a replacement debit card to come in the mail and only had cash on me. They had card only self checkouts open and that was it. When I explained my situation to an employee they said there was no way to do a cash transaction. Atleast until I asked where I should leave my cart of items. Then she begrudgingly opened a register and took my cash.

    She claimed that they can’t get enough coins and small bills from the bank currently.

  18. Amelsander says:

    Happened a few times in our store, people coming in with money we don’t accept (big bills, money with theft paintmarks, torn bills,…)

    another scam is that they shortchange you. Where they keep talking to you and change bills a few time resulting in you to get confused and they pay like 20-30bucks less.

  19. softlytrampled says:

    I’m not sure if the person you interacted with was necessarily trying to pull of a scam per-say, but I definitely think it was a smart move to say no.

    A homeless woman in my neighborhood approached me on the street asking if I could go with her to our grocery store to get a bottle of champagne because she didn’t have her wallet/ID, but had a celebration coming up and would give me cash to get it.

    I asked her what she was celebrating and she froze, then laughed and admitted I caught her in a lie. What happened from there was kinda funny but long-story-short, it still resulted in me telling her no.

    Besides the fact that she would’ve needed an ID because she was trying to buy alcohol, I saw the crumpled cash she pulled out and I think she either 1.) wouldn’t have had enough money for what she wanted and pressured me to pay for it myself, or 2.) trick me into buying her multiple things. Either way, it felt like she was planning something that would’ve put me in a bad spot.

    I’m proud of you for thinking quick on your feet and saying no! I’m sure you saved yourself a lot of trouble.

  20. veritasmahwa says:

    I once refrain myself doing it

    A spesific credit card has a discount for a smart-phone. No one in my family has one so I was about to ask around but then stop because they might think I was scamming them. Because, I mean, that’s what I would think and refuse to use my card

  21. indigowulf says:

    Fake money. I bet they had a cashier like ME that can spot counterfeit easily and had already told them to GTFO before they call the cops. So, she had to try to get some less observant person to take her fake money.

    I caught a group of people in my area that made fake $5 because people never glance twice at a $5, they only really check $50 and $100. I caught them, and I also heard them discussing where they had already used the fakes at, and where they should try next. I got the cops involved, they caught 1 of them (it was AMAZING they chased him through the store and he was trying to leap over displays of candy and stuff, he didn’t know we locked the back door when the cops arrived, so he had to turn around.) sadly the 3 with him got away.

    I took my break and went door to door at neighboring businesses to warn them. Some said they already accepted fakes.

    This was during “Bloomsday” in Spokane, which you’re free to google if you want to know how busy my area was at that time. They were smart, they made $5 and hit during a time people would not have time to think about checking money.

  22. Chance-Ad-9111 says:

    Money may have been fake!

  23. WeepingSomnabulist says:

    (This was a long time ago and I don’t remember the details exactly.) At the supermarket, a guy asked me to swap cash money for some kind of … I didn’t know what it was gift certificate, welfare/food stamp thing, what. The guy was scary looking so I did it. The cashier took the piece of paper so that part was legit. I think it was for $10.00.

    Still wonder if he wanted the cash to go buy drugs. Don’t shame me, I was a young woman at the time and was surprised by a scary guy out of nowhere.

  24. mary8thelamb says:

    Could’ve also been money laundering

  25. urabusazerpmi says:

    Short changing would be the ‘easier’ scam to pull off I’d imagine.

  26. catjuggler says:

    Definitely counterfeit, though I wonder what the scammer would claim is the reason

  27. seventy7xseven says:

    Are you sure you didn’t hear wrong and she wanted you to give her cash and she paid for whatever with her “card” which was likely a snap/food stamps card? This makes more sense and is quite common. Its illegal but not a scam per say

  28. Witty_Combination_82 says:

    Last night at the gas station some guy tried handing my friend a credit card and asked if they could get cash. Like they’d put our gas on their card if we gave them the cash. I assume the card was probably stolen.

  29. aQUantUMchiLD1 says:

    I’m curious didn’t you ask the reason why she had this very very strange and illogical request of a total stranger?

  30. failed_novelty says:

    The only way this was even plausible as a real thing is if it was alcohol and the lady was a minor.

    That’s an entire different crime, and you’d go to jail, not (just) the kid if caught.

  31. MistaBeanz says:

    Just take the scammers money and bounce lololol

  32. -SleeplessStudent- says:

    This is a scam. Either fake money, or they are laundering money that’s been flagged. Also be careful of big purchases in foreign cash. This is one scam that’s been going on where I live for the last year or so.
    Also….If a store has stopped taking money, alot do have ways to check if they are real. I know there’s a pen that tests the bills and depending the colour the ink goes, let’s you know if it’s real or not.

  33. What if it really is a counterfeit money. Say yes up until at the cashier but don’t accept the money yet. Pay your groceries first with your card, and say you’ll pay a separate transaction for the lady’s groceries, so you’ll know how much you’d get.
    When you about to pay for the lady, ask for the cash then check it (assuming you know what counterfeit money is) and you caught her on the spot. You call the guards. Eh

  34. weinerjuice says:

    Ngl I’ve done this at some places that don’t accept cash during covid. Ppl were nice enough to help me out but could be very sketchy too lol

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