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Shopper beware, Dec. 15, 2006

The crooks and con artists come out of the woodwork this time of year. The wife and I were in Lowes downtown late Sunday afternoon looking at kitchens and just passing some time. I had left her momentarily to look for something manly and when I returned she told me she had been approached by a scam artist.

A man in his 20s had approached her and said he had returned an item to Lowes and did not have a receipt and they gave him store credit. He offered to pay for what was in her cart with his card if she would give him cash for it. She declined, telling him she did not have any cash on her and intended to pay by check.

She pointed him out to me. He was loud and somewhat obnoxious. He was approaching other customers with the same proposal.

&uot;What makes you think it’s a scam?&uot; I asked. She said she was approached last Christmas in TJ Maxx with the same deal and was pretty sure it was the same dude.

She said they likely steal merchandise and then return it for credit and try to trade their credit for cash.

She pointed the guy out to me. He was in his mid to late 20s probably, was loud, push and obnoxious. We watched as he approached other customers with the same proposal.

I had never heard of this. If this is a scam of some sort, I’d appreciate hearing more about it so we can put something in the paper to alert people to it.

Overheard, George Carlin on Imus Thursday morning: &uot;When you’re born into this world you are given a ticket to the freak show. If you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.&uot;