Pet store owner says elaborate credit card scheme cost her business $6,000

Orlando pet store wants to warn others of 'refund' scam

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The owner of an Orlando pet store is warning others after criminals targeted her business over the weekend, she said Monday.

Victoria Glatz, the owner of the Puppy Stop, said that on Saturday evening, two women visited her store. They picked out two puppies, totaling $3,136.43, Glatz said.

Glatz said one of the women tried to use a prepaid Green Dot credit card to pay, but it was declined.

Glatz said the woman then picked up her cellphone and claimed to be talking with the credit card company. Surveillance video showed the woman handing the store owner the phone.

Glatz said the person on the other end of the line seemed legitimate, and she listened to the instructions on how to properly accept the payment.

"OK, well, you got to hit this button, F4. It says 'sale,'" Glatz said. "Hit that, hit credit, hit sale and the receipt popped up and it says 'refund.' I'm like, 'No, no, no.' She's like, 'Well, let me sign it. It's good, trust me. It's good.' And it was not."

Glatz said while she was still confused about the transaction, the woman walked behind the counter and claimed to be putting in her PIN in order to run the card as debit. But instead, the woman used the store's machine to again refund her card another $3,136.43, totaling $6,272.86, Glatz said.

"I am shocked," Glatz said. "When I talked to (the Orlando Police Department), I was like, you have to be kidding me. Really? They can do that too? I'm completely shocked. I can't believe they got (one) over on me."

Without resolving the issue, Glatz said, the woman left, citing an emergency.

She hasn't come back for the dogs.

Glatz said as an experienced business owner, she wants others to be aware of the latest tactics being used to take money from small businesses.

"They sounded like a company -- like a legit company," Glatz said. " ... I've spoken to credit card companies before and (they) sounded just like all the others. Everything seemed legit."

Green Dot cards have been the focus of money fraud for several years, with consumer agencies warning how to protect your money. The company has advice on its website about how to prevent fraud.

Orlando police said more information about the case should be available Tuesday.

About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.