Never in a million years would I expect to find scammers at our small town’s grocery store. HEB is a chain of grocers in Texas. I recall many times, when we lived in Utah and came back home, making my hubby stop at the first HEB after leaving New Mexico…just so I could walk in, look at the store and smell the familiar tortillas being made. There was not a store like HEB in Utah and we missed it SO MUCH! I even recall that when my MIL came to Utah to visit us, when we lived there, she would bring us HEB tortillas.
Anyway, my youngest daughter and I went to buy groceries at HEB one day last week. While standing in line to check out, a woman approached me and asked me if I was going to pay cash for my groceries. I said no. She then asked me if I was sure – while eying my purse in my shopping cart. I said yes, of course I’m sure. She was with a man who was standing at the end of an aisle scoping people out.
When it was our turn at the checkout, I alerted the HEB employee that someone was asking about me paying cash for my groceries. They had gone to the checkout and I was keeping an eye on them. Unfortunately, whatever they purchased was not much and they were out of the store before I had a chance to point them out to the checker. As I was telling my story, a long-time employee was bagging my grocery items. She had only heard the tail end of what I said so I repeated the story to her. It was just odd. I knew something was ‘off’ about it but couldn’t pinpoint exactly what the issue was.
Both the bagger and I came to the same conclusion at the same time.
I had read about this scam but had not experienced it and definitely didn’t expect it in our small town. Scammers will exchange cash and use their own Lone Star cards (formerly known as food stamps) for your food items and take $.50 on the dollar – exchanging your cash for the use of their Lone Star card. They then use the cash to purchase drugs and/or alcohol.
Unfortunately, because they left the store before I could point them out, there was nothing to be done about it. It also made me a bit sad that these types of people had infiltrated our favorite grocery store. I’m very glad that I wasn’t paying cash for my groceries so I could send her on her way. Sad but true, scammers are everywhere!