Target store loses $93k in days after scammers target ‘vulnerable’ cashiers, MI cops say

PAT SULLIVAN/Associated Press

A Michigan Target store lost $93,000 in gift cards over four days after falling victim to a repeated scam, authorities said.

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said in a weekly briefing that the elaborate plan was over four days in February, and is a nationwide hustle known as a “K1 scam.”

Officers discovered the scam when a man was stopped in traffic and found to have 106 gift cards with him.

Swanson said the nationwide scheme likely nets large stores millions in losses each week.

An investigator said in the briefing that these scammers look for “vulnerable” cashiers that they can target until they find someone to buy into the scam. They use fake credit cards and convince the cashier to run the fake card as cash. The scammers often pressure cashiers that are new to the job or busy.

The scammers then use the money obtained from the fake cards to buy gift cards, and then continue the cycle, which makes the scam “untraceable.”

“This is a grand theft from our stores… all of us pay for it,” Swanson said.

Swanson urges cashiers to not give into pressure from potential scammers, and call over a manager if something feels weird.

The manaccused in the scam was charged with possession of a fraudulent financial transaction device and receiving or concealing stolen property.

Flint is Genesse County.