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BBB Reveals 3 Retail Receipt Red Flags

THE CHECK-OUT CHECKLIST

Anchorage, Alaska – Dec. 9, 2009 – Lookout for cashier-receipt scams during the busy retail shopping season, warns Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington.

Cash-Back: Beware of unwanted cash-back withdrawals on retail purchase receipts. In hopes that it will go unnoticed, the cashier may apply cash-back requests on credit or debit card transactions so that they can pocket the money. To avoid getting caught in the act, the cashier may hand the cash-back or "change" to the next person in line—which is actually the cashier's friend or accomplice.

Missing Merchandise: Products make it to the check-out stand, but not into the shopping bag. Instead, the clerk hides the loot behind the counter and keeps the buyer's new belonging. This dishonest practice is easier to commit against consumers who buy a higher volume of goods.

Double-Charged Items: Unethical retailers may deliberately try to double-scan or charge twice for the same product to increase their revenue. Thus, the company is able to make more profit while retaining inventory.

BBB reminds purchasers to protect their pockets with the following check-out checklist:

Watch the register tally. Observe the screen on the payment processing device. Make sure that the retailer isn't duplicating charges on the same goods or collecting cash-back without authorization. Also, confirm that sale merchandise rang up at the discounted price.

Always get a receipt and inspect the receipt at the register. Count items before leaving the store. Compare purchases to the receipt to ensure that all merchandise is accounted for.

Contest inaccuracies. If mistakes are found, don't be afraid to ask the cashier to correct or clear out the transaction and start over. Make sure that the cashier reverses unnecessary cash-back requests immediately; most credit cards charge the cardholder fees on cash advances.

Keep in mind that a cashier or receipt error may be an unintentional mistake; however, if it occurs continually, promptly notify the store's management. Consumers unable to resolve a transaction issue or receipt dispute with the business can file a complaint at www.bbb.org.

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About your BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington:
Your Better Business Bureau is a not-for-profit organization funded by Better Business Bureau accredited businesses. The BBB’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. For more information about the services and products provided by your BBB, call 206-431-2222 or 253-830-2924 in Washington, 503-212-3022 in Oregon, 907-562-0704 in Alaska, or visit our Web site at www.bbb.org.

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