Oct 4, 2011 6:56 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Scam Artists Targeting Lafayette Parish Businesses

Authorities are warning business owners to be on the look-out because a scam artist is on the run and the criminals could be targeting your business next. Seven incidents have been reported to the Lafayette Police Department and the latest happened in Youngsville at Shortline Caboose. .

The scam is called a 'quick change scam' and typically a suspect makes a small purchase and then asks for change in return. Authorities said the suspect may give the cashier 10 dollars, but then go back and say they gave the cashier 20 dollars. The criminals goal is to confuse the cashier, some Lafayette Parish businesses have been scammed out of as much as 800 dollars.

The owner of Shortline Caboose, Buffy Massey, said the suspect kept going back and forth with the cashier about how much he gave her. He said the employee felt uneasy, but didn't expect the suspect was scamming her.

When Massey counted the money in the register, he discovered the suspect made away with $104 dollars. Police said this is part of a bigger problem.

An arrest was made a few weeks ago and officials said they believe Kenneth Wright is responsible for at least four of the incidents. Police believe it's a group of scam artists and most likely someone who lives in the area.

Massey said, "the main thing now is to try and catch this guy and keep him from evolving into a violent act and to save some other people from getting caught up in the scam."

Officials have reason to believe the suspect who targeted the snow cone shop is responsible for at least one of the Lafayette incidents. Call the Lafayette Police Department or Youngsville Police Department if you have any information about these crimes.



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