toronto scam

Toronto bakery warns of scam that could cost small businesses $100

A Toronto bakery is warning fellow small businesses to be wary of a scam that could end up costing $100.

North York bakery Gouter is known the city over for their creative croissants and other goodies, but they recently took to social media not to share images of flaky pastries, but to share a warning of scammers threatening small businesses.

The video, titled "how to spot a scammer," shows a video taken at the bakery, where a man seemingly hands the cashier a $100 dollar bill and then reaches back over the desk to try to take it back.

"This is how these scammers operate, so make sure to share with the all small businesses near you and anyone working retail," the caption reads, before launching into the details of the operation.

The caption goes on to explain that people posing as patrons will walk into the store and order one or two low priced items, offering to pay in cash with a $100 bill while an accomplice distracts the cashier with questions and conversation.

The 'customer' will then ask for the $100 back as soon as the cash drawer is open, telling the cashier that they've actually got change, Gouter's caption explains.

"Once the $100 is handed back over they immediately make them disappear in a pocket," the caption writes. 

According to Gouter's caption, the customer will then hand over some change ("taking as an example a $2.50 purchase they’ll hand over 50 cents," the caption reads) and begin demanding to the cashier that they need $98 in change, as if they hadn't taken back the $100.

"We know it might sound like nothing, but it is a sensory overload trying to hold two completely different conversations at the same time and if it’s just not your day [...] it’s the perfect storm and they walk away with their initial $100, an additional $98 on top of [food] on the house," they write.

It's a no-lose operation for the scammers, as they'll either buy themselves food like a regular customer, double their money or score free food — no matter how you slice it, the business almost always loses.

Luckily, in the case of Gouter's recent video, the cashier sensed something was off and was able to control the transaction without any money lost, but, the business does say that the scam has been successful at other Gouter locations before.

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