Waitress Credit Card Scam Convinces Me to Use Cash

credit cards fraudIt's rare that I ever carry cash, mostly because I'm afraid I'll lose track of it. But after this scary story of a waitress in Florida named Kathryn Shana'e Perez who ripped off her customers with a credit card skimmer, that may have to change.

Here's how Perez pulled off the elaborate scam: Her cousin allegedly gave her the skimming device and used the information she stole from her customers to make new credit cards. Her cousin's ex-girlfriend then used the credit cards at Radio Shack and Wal-Mart and sold the merchandise for cash. All in all, guess how much these three ended up charging with the fraudulent credit cards before they got caught?


A whopping $5,000!

Of course, what makes this story so disturbing isn't the amount of money. Rather, it's the fact that when you hand your credit card over to a server in a restaurant (or anyone in retail for that matter), you are trusting them with some very important and private information. Perez violated this trust in the worst way and used it for her own gain. Many of Perez's skimming victims now say they are too scared to keep their credit cards and will only pay with cash from now on -- I don't blame them!

Perez has some obvious issues, not to mention questionable morals, and this tip from a detective on the case makes her come across as even more unpleasant. He said she identified the people she skimmed as "the ones that ran her around, made her work real hard." Ugh. Let this be a lesson to us all: Watch out for lazy servers, always check your credit card statement, and consider using cash from this day forth.

Do you typically pay with cash or credit cards?


Image via Andres Rueda/Flickr

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