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Walgreens Called the Cops Because Someone was Buying Gift Cards


I am a Citi TYP card holder and have been churning GCs since I got it. My normal "run" is 4 drug stores and one grocery store. I usually walk away with about 7K in GCs each run. This past Thursday however, went very different. Here is the series of events.

#1: Stopped at the grocery store. Picked up $1500 in GCs.

#2: Stopped at Walgreens and bought one $500 PayPal MyCash card.

#3: Stopped at Rite Aid and bought one $500 Vanilla Visa.

#4: Was pulling into Rite Aid #2 and was pulled over. Turns out Walgreens called the police on me for suspicious activity. The police officer questioned me about why I was stopping at all the drug stores and why I was buying so many GCs. I was honest with him and he checked my CC that I used with my ID to make sure they matched. After everything checked out, he was puzzled on why I was stopped in the first place, but said he had to keep me until the detective arrived to talk to me. When the detective arrived (with the K9 unit as well), he explained all the bad things GCs can be used for (which I already knew) and that is why I was stopped. He said he had called the Secret Service to confirm my identity and that everything checked out. After about 30 minutes of being questioned, I was on my way and told I can continue doing what I do, as it is not illegal.

I visit this particular Walgreens about 5 times a month and buy about $3000 in gift cards a month from there. Why wouldn't they say anything to me in person? Why do they make a store limit on gift cards if they are going to call the police even if you stay under the limit?

Continues: http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1281947/

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Of property or credit (identity theft)

Gift cards that transfer debt from the retailer to ultimately the person liable for the debt.

Cannot always assume credit card company will take the loss. Also it is not reasonable to have the retailer write it off as a loss.

The point here is whether this particular retailer did something egregious or reasonably in line with other retailers who accept credit cards.

Remember, credit card companies typically favor the consumer in these cases and a chargeback ensues. This is why more businesses find the concept of Bitcoins appealing because, like a bank wire, once the money is received the only way to get it back is through the courts.

I'm not saying that example was trivial

just pointing out that not all cops enjoy poking and prodding into people's lives every time someone calls them about suspicious activity is all.

A signature used to be here!

Couple of questions

First obvious this is outrageous and I hope the victim litigates.

But I'm curious what is the scheme he is doing?

Also, and only marginally germane.. recently Walgreens started locking up their ivory soap? WTH? You can buy rat poison off the shelf but I have to hunt down a worker to get a key for a bar of bath soap? Anymore if soap is on my list I go somewhere else, too much hassle to find someone.

At my last job, I worked for a casino

For the last 15 years or so, all employees that dealt with money transactions were required by the IRS and them later the IRS and Homeland Security to take a class and pass a test about tracking transactions.

Tracking the transactions and recording the transactions in a Cash Transaction Log (CTR) was not optional, it was the law. We were threatened with fines and arrest if we did not obey the laws, and the casino was threatened with fines.

We were also not allowed to discuss this with the casino patrons. There was a brochure we could give them if they asked any questions, but we could not discuss the tracking. That was also the law.

Shakedown by the biggest Mob is town.


Free includes debt-free!

Time to blow the whistle

Time to blow the whistle on Walgreens. As a 5 year employee, I know why this could happen. We were required to do a short online class on "money laundering". They take it seriously when people buy thousands of dollars worth of gift cards or green dot cards in a single day or repeatedly buy these cards. I thought the class was pretty irrelevant and anti-liberty. There are other things in general that MANY of these companies are doing now that I don't agree with. In scope the "money laundering" bull pales in comparison to some of the procedures the company does.

"truth is treason in an empire of lies."

Unfortunately, the problem is

Unfortunately, the problem is that Walgreens (and every other retailer that sells these kinds of cards) is following the "law" -- the Banking Secrecy Act and the PATRIOT Act, primarily -- which requires them, under penalty of serious fines and possible arrest, to record these transactions in cash transaction reports that are sent to FinCEN.

Very true

Due to the enemy of free humanity. The "Patriot Act" is what causes companies to act this way.

"truth is treason in an empire of lies."


thats some serious cabbage on GC

LittleWing's picture

InfraGard: The FBI Deputizes Business

'InfraGard' here is an article from 2008-

The FBI Deputizes Business

Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does—and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law.
InfraGard is “a child of the FBI,” says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm.

InfraGard started in Cleveland back in 1996, when the private sector there cooperated with the FBI to investigate cyber threats.

“Then the FBI cloned it,” says Phyllis Schneck, chairman of the board of directors of the InfraGard National Members Alliance, and the prime mover behind the growth of InfraGard over the last several years.

“At its most basic level, InfraGard is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector,” the InfraGard website states. “InfraGard chapters are geographically linked with FBI Field Office territories.”

In November 2001, InfraGard had around 1,700 members. As of late January, InfraGard had 23,682 members, according to its website, www.infragard.net, which adds that “350 of our nation’s Fortune 500 have a representative in InfraGard.”

To join, each person must be sponsored by “an existing InfraGard member, chapter, or partner organization.” The FBI then vets the applicant. On the application form, prospective members are asked which aspect of the critical infrastructure their organization deals with. These include: agriculture, banking and finance, the chemical industry, defense, energy, food, information and telecommunications, law enforcement, public health, and transportation.


If Wars Can Be Started by Lies, They Can Be Stopped By Truth.

Sounds like a fancy name for "Brown Shirts."


Good cops

Legitimate stop.

Unfortunately this person did not cultivate sufficient relationship with clerk at Walgreens i.e. "I get these Thank You Rewards for using the CITI card. That's why I buy so many Gift Cards.

It just so happens that the store could be accused of being an accomplice to money laundering if they sensed a drug dealer laundering money and didn't report it.

A guy in my town, CanonMac Metals Recycling, just got arrested for taking stolen steel from a guy who was steeling plates from the local railroad yard. The recycler is required by law to report it.. He didn't.

Good cops: oxymoron

Protecting life, liberty and property would be a worthy occupation. Too bad cops don't do much of that. Instead, they enforce "laws" which systematically injure and violate life, liberty and property. They have become "law enforcers," rather than "peace officers," and they get paid with money extorted from unwilling victims. They are politicians' thugs, not public servants. No doubt some of them "mean well," and really care about protecting people from violent criminals. But their willingness to enforce unjust and tyrannical laws makes them villains, each and every one.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

well put...

I agree wholeheartedly!

Aaron Russo, Nikola Tesla, Ron Paul, I'm jus' sayin'

Where are the good cops?

Why is CanonMetal Recycling forced to become an unpaid informant for the cops. Anybody can buy and own steel rail or plates.

Up at my recycler it was the case of the titanium coffin. They told the cops the story of the box they wouldn't buy.

Free includes debt-free!

I am reading this

I wish! This culture has

I wish!

This culture has become so contorted and ripe for misunderstanding thanks to a handful of elites who want perpetual war to suck profits out of our country.

TwelveOhOne's picture

The crime was hidden

He was taking non-steel plates, and attaching a thin veneer of steel to them, then selling them as actual steel. He was steeling plates.

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)

I deserve that

I embrace my punishment.

dynamite anthrax supreme court white house tea party jihad
to be continued

Cop school teaches cop propaganda.

A jug of distilled water can be dangerous. I might kosh someone upside the head. Or fill a tub to arrange a drowning.

Are all cops paranoid dimwits doing the Fed Res's dirty work?

Government makes everything an uphill battle.

The Economy will never get rolling, the Congress will keep pushing it with fiat money, until we're exhausted, then they'll find new slaves.

Free includes debt-free!

TwelveOhOne's picture

I would consider writing management a letter

Tell them you are done doing business with them -- unless they fire the employee who was illegally monitoring you.

But even then it won't give you your 30 minutes back, or remove you from "recently searched by the Secret Service" status.

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)

TwelveOhOne's picture

Just read the link, saw you already took action

I really liked the other comments, especially regarding a "42 USC 1983" lawsuit. I urge you to look into this.

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)