OLLA, LA (10/16/19)– Multiple businesses off of highway 165 have become victims to three scammers who are causing confusion and walking away with double the money they walked in with.
When you drive into Olla it’s a place where everyone’s welcomed, but this greeting was striped away as three men performed a quick change scam on Speedy Mac’s Gas Station.
“I’m very shaken up about it, to have someone come in and they don’t really know us and we don’t know them and just take advantage of us is cray,” said Tranesha Johnson, Works next door to Speedy Mac’s.
October 13th, two black males came into the gas station, the elderly one bought a fountain coke and paid with a 100 dollar bill. As the clerk gave his change back, he pulled out two dollars and asked if he could pay with that instead and then asked for his 100 dollar bill back.
“You know, I’m sure it made sense that he needed to get his money back since he paid with two one dollar bills, he inevitably left the business with approximately 200 dollars that he didn’t show up with,” said Daniel Smith, Olla Chief of Police.
It’s the perfect scenario, as the money is being handed back and forth, the two males distracted the clerk by starting a conversation and it’s not until later she realizes she was scammed.
“It’s a trick that been used several times, we’ve seen it all over the place,” said Smith.
Police officials say these scams happen along highway 165 and I-20, but they don’t hit the same city twice in one day. Once Olla police posted this on Facebook, 12 businesses up 165 within a 100 mile radius said it happened to them as well.
“People really come in and take advantage of you like that, you gotta be more cautious,” said Johnson.
That’s exactly what police are asking businesses to do. Be aware of large sums of money, people preying on workers who are new, younger, talkative and in a hurry.
“If they are reaching in their pockets as they are pulling out all sorts of money to pay for one thing that may cost a dollar or two, then somethings wrong,” said Smith.
As of now, police believe the suspects are not from this area and the license plates are fake. Olla Police say they are still investigating but have identified one male but are not releasing a name right now. In addition, they ask if anyone knows any information to contact officials.