News 5 Talks With Local Businesses Scammed Out Of Thousands

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An unidentified couple has been scamming their way across the Gulf Coast, from stores in Gulf Shores to hair salons in Daphne, they’ve stolen thousands of dollars.

Today, Michelle Beam, owner of the Hair-Do Salon in Daphne, talked to us about her encounter with the couple.

The couple came into the salon and the man got his hair cut.

“They went to go run their credit card and it declined it. So, they said you need to run it offline with an authorization code and then it went through,” Beam said.

After realizing his scheme had worked he and the woman he was with decided to purchase $1,300 worth of products along with the haircut.

Michelle’s employees checked the couple out and said they seemed to have a legitimate story for purchasing such a large amount of goods,”They had a great story with it. they said they were purchasing for their beach house and also their home– and they just wanted to stock up.”

Michelle’s story is eerily similar to one told by employees at Cindy Meador Interiors in Gulf Shores, where the same couple came to buy furniture and walked out with $ 4,000 worth of goods.

An employee with Cindy Meador Interiors spoke with News 5 over the phone.

” A man and woman came into our shop and very were friendly, loved everything and wanted to purchase a good bit of stuff,” Allyn Cameron said.

Just like at the Hair-Do the man’s card was initially declined–“He was like ‘Oh, I have life lock and you have to put this code into your credit card terminal and it lets them know that it’s me because we’re traveling out of our home state,'” Cameron said.

We talked to Detective Keith Miller with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office about this code the mystery man is giving and what it actually means.

“Once that credit card or debit card is declined he offers the excuse that he’s a life lock customer- he gives them a code which is essentially the override code on the machine for the issuing bank. Once that merchant puts that code in the sale will go through, but it will ultimately be declined again and it will leave the merchant on the hook for the fraud,” Miller said.

Miller also told News 5 that in cases like this one the scammers usually don’t stick around one area for very long. So, it’s likely the duo won’t be caught in our area.

 

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