Consumer Alert: Belvidere Businesses Fall Victim to Scams

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Two businesses across the street from one another are the victims in two separate incidents.

A customer paid for groceries at Pacemaker Foods with a counterfeit $20 bill. The store says they didn't realize it until the bank was counting the deposit and found the phony money.

In another unrelated incident, police say a couple ran a short-change scam at the McDonald's across the street, getting away with an undisclosed amount of cash. Police say the couple continually asked for different kinds of change from a cashier after placing an order.

The scammers were able to confuse the clerk in order to get much more cash than they were due. We spoke with the McDonald's manager who was on duty at the time of the scam. She says these kinds of scams are disturbingly easy.

"Its a mind game. They give them a twenty, say I want two tens so they give them two tens back. At the same time, they give them more money when they're trying to count the change from before and that's how they scam them," says Amy Hatfield, a manager at the McDonald's located on Chrysler Rd. in Belvidere.

The Belvidere McDonald's has learned their lesson from this mistake. They say employees must now have a manager present when making change from here on out. If you have any information about either of these crimes, you are urged to contact the Belvidere Police Department.

While thieves at those stores were successful, thwarting future attempts is relatively simple. The Belvidere Chamber of Commerce recommends cashiers focus on the amount of money involved, making mental notes about each customer's appearance, and letting management know if they feel they have been scammed.