Cash scam targeted confused store employees
A Calgary woman is accused of posing as a senior manager and tricking store employees into giving her hundreds of dollars in about 25 cases.
Jane Elizabeth Moore, 34, has been charged with 107 fraud-related offences between April 2008 and October 2009, said police on Wednesday. Police arrested her earlier in the week in Strathmore on an outstanding warrant.
Police allege that Moore used several pretexts at various Calgary stores to walk away with between $500 and $1,200 in each incident.
In most of the cases, a woman convinced employees she was connected to their store by posing as the manager of another location or an employee from the company's head office.
The woman then asked to see the store's credit card machine, punched in a fraudulent number, and then convinced the employee to give her cash in place of the money she just "contributed" to the machine, said police.
"She has her story line down very well," said Const. Grant Newell. "She convinces people that she knows all the employees there and/or she is from head office. So when all that information is thrown at the employee in a hurry, they tend to get confused. They tend to go, 'Well, oh the boss said it was OK.'"
The suspect appeared to have called the store beforehand to learn the employees' names, said police.
Newell said the woman has also used the story that she needs cash for a tow truck, or for charity, and that it was approved by head office.
The suspect is alleged to have tried the scam at six to 10 stores every day for a year and a half. Newell said she was able to get away with the ruse because store employees failed to check ID and signatures.
Police released her photo in hope of generating more information in the case, adding that Moore also goes by the names of Jane Elizabeth Plimmer and the first names Sarah or Sara.
Moore is scheduled to appear in Calgary provincial court on Thursday.