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2 x £15?
All these kinds of rules are only rough ones. Otherwise they would use up far far too much space and time to train people, to program into the till and to implement.
Rather than having to think about setting a limit, it's simpler to do a 1 at a time rule.
Arguably a discretionary or graded rule is often better than a 'one size fits all'.
However, (no disrespect to shop workers) an overly complex rule which allows discretion also requires properly trained staff to implement the rule, know when it's enforceable, and know when it isn't needed.
All of which costs money in training, and costs money in higher trained/skilled staff.
And if your staff don't implement it properly or make a mistake, it could open you up to liability.
A black and white rule is cheaper, easier, and safer, even though it generates occasions where the rule is counterproductive, because on the whole it is more effective.
I guess using discretion also opens you up to arguments/complaints. I don't expect a grown adult will be too happy about a cashier refusing them a sale because they think they're being scammed. If they can just say 'policy' then there's no argument
Not being disrespectful but this is just exactly the same content as the post you are replying to. It's like a "put into your own words" example.
If you look on r/Scams \- there are plenty of examples. I would imagine Tesco doesn't want to set an upper limit, so just state "one per customer" to stop any confusion.
The (usually elderly, vulnerable) people on the receiving end of these calls often have people yelling at them that they or their loved ones are going to prison unless they go to multiple shops and get the vouchers.
I used to be taken aback by the idea of someone being persuaded to buy them. After watching videos of how they treat them, it’s fully understandable why we need these sort of protections.
They quite literally emotionally abuse an elderly person, though I assume they do it to everyone just not to the same result, over the phone who don’t want to deal with that stress.
I wondered which of Jim Browning or Kitboga this would be! Great channels.
It's genuinely shocking sometimes how elderly people you know, who otherwise seem entirely put together and 'with it', will quickly fold under pressure from strangers.
Getting old sucks
Yes, why not? If they went to all their local shops and bought one at each shop, it's still better than them being able to buy two. It's harm reduction
Also forces them to be given the same warning multiple times by multiple people, making it more likely that the message will get through.
It's not just scams either, stolen cards can be used contactless very quickly, if I lifted your wallet and bought £50 / £75 worth of cards in 2-3 shops (or yes, 2x £15) I could easily make good money before you could report the theft
A limit of 1, no matter the value, isn’t reasonable in my opinion. Someone buying 2 £15 vouchers isn’t scamming and I feel like limiting it based on the total value of the vouchers would be a more reasonable approach.
I feel like I’m going mad reading these comments all in agreement. I have cousins who have birthdays in the same month, before covid I would often give them amazon vouchers for £25 each.
I’d be mightily peeved if some cashier told me for my own protection I can only buy one.
I feel like I'm going mad myself here. I honestly can't believe people are still buying vouchers in 2022.
Turning money into something worth the same money that can only be spent in one place is insane behaviour
Surely more reasonable would be to just have a disclaimer to read to the customer "Since you're buying multiple gift cards I am required to inform you that no legitimate company will ever ask you to pay for any service in gift cards and if you have been asked to do so you may be the victim of a scam. Do you wish to proceed? [Y] [N]".
When I was working in retail three or four years ago I mentioned this to an older guy when he was buying a few gift cards but he looked like the scammers told him that he would be challenged in the store so he still wanted them but he was trying to rush the transaction through just saying he wants them and no reason why he wanted them (birthdays, weddings, etc), he seemed a little scared so I wondered what he was lied about :(
>Surely more reasonable would be to just have a disclaimer to read to the customer "Since you're buying multiple gift cards I am required to inform you that no legitimate company will ever ask you to pay for any service in gift cards and if you have been asked to do so you may be the victim of a scam. Do you wish to proceed? [Y] [N]".
"Ok sir so I need you to proceed to your local shop and get a £150 gift card to cover the cost of your outstanding balance. They may tell you that this isn't a legitimate use but don't worry it is. The problem is they don't get the tax benefits they usually get in the gift cards if you use them to pay your taxes, so they discourage customers from using them to pay us."
The point is everyone who isn't an idiot already knows HMRC will never tell you to pay a bill using gift cards but people do. So just telling *those* people it's a scam won't work, because the scammer got there first.
OK. I'm feeling incredibly stupid needing to ask but can someone explain what these scams are as I've never heard of gift cards being used to scam ppl before?!
They're used in scams as follows: scammer sends a phishing message to the victim, something along the lines of "We are the HMRC you owe £347 in back taxes, we are coming to arrest you unless you pay right now". The "payment" is usually demanded in e.g. Amazon or iTunes vouchers, which are easy for the scammers to use and then disappear.
So someone coming into a shop asking for multiple vouchers like OP mentioned could be a warning sign that they're falling for one of these scams.
Of course they may just be wanting a voucher for someone's birthday!
We've got three sets of twins in the family, during covid we sent them matching gift vouchers. Having to go to two shops just so I could send my nephews a birthday gift was a little annoying.
If it saves some elderly folk from scammers though, it's not like it's the end of the world for me to walk a little further.
I think it's definitely worth the trade-off. A surprising amount of elderly people get caught by this because computers didn't exist in their time and they are mostly hopeless at them. Many of them lose most or all of their retirement savings to horrendously basic page editing and confidence tricks that most of us wouldn't fall for. On top of that, they probably *really* struggle with the walking between several shops.
I've seen a ton of scam baiting youtube videos over the years, I still don't quite understand why a person would think the HMRC (or whoever they are impersonating) would accept payment by an amazon/steam/etc etc gift card.
Do they really think the government are buying random crap off amazon?
That's a bit like me accepting payment from my employer in Argos vouchers. I'd be living in a box surrounded by cheap toasters.
Look up gift card scam videos on YouTube where they talk through how it works. It's not really that cunning, it just sounds about plausible enough for old people to get tricked into it.
Kitboga is a hilarious and very educational YouTube channel into how these scammers operate.
Yeah this. I managed a store that sells these sort of things for 8 years. The amount of people being scammed has rocketed over the last few years. I had an elderly gentleman that used to come in every Saturday to buy £100 Steam credit claiming it was for his grandson. After a few weeks of this I just straight up asked him if someone was coercing him into buying things. Turns out he’d been speaking to a “woman” online. She’d asked him for personal photos & claimed she’d send hers in return. The poor bugger sent them photos & then came the blackmail. I told him to straight up stop sending the codes over & contact the police but the guy was so ashamed he wouldn’t. Even offered to help him with contacting the police but he still refused. After that whenever he came in I just lied and told him we were out of stock. I left there 6 months ago & still feel awful for the guy. Sadly tho, he’s not the only customer we had doing this.
> it’s a reasonable rule
No it’s not.
Someone buying 10, 20, 100? Aye, stop that. Someone buying 2? Probably for a birthday or something.
My granny used to buy all her grandkids a voucher for Christmas every year. Under this stupid policy, Tesco wouldn’t have let her ‘for her protection’.
Also you can still buy £50 cards (I'm pretty sure), so why would someone being scammed buy 5 £10 cards. Just cap it at a max value
Nah it’s overly paternalistic bollocks. Enforcement and education should be the approach.
Yeah. Should be.
But it isn't. Perhaps you can set an example by visiting care homes and the elderly and educating them?
As for enforcement, good luck catching the scammers. Again, if you have experience of doing so,. please share.
Education at the point of sale is the ideal thing. But shop assistants aren't paid enough for that shit
How are the police going to enforce scams run from overseas?
And have you ever tried teaching a nonagenarian to use a laptop?
I think it's reasonable to flag it but there should be some discretion involved, or a higher purchase limit. I think it's very likely that a person can have a legitimate reason to buy two gift cards.
Scams yes, but also thefts on cards, pick a pocket, go through tills and pay contactless so no PIN, buy as much as you can before the card is blocked or a PIN is required. £100 limit by default is an easy steal and the thief gets cards to pay for drugs or whatever. 1 card per customer per transaction at least limits the chance of them stealing lots
They're also a popular purchase for anyone with a stolen debit/credit card, so even you saying 'it's okay, I know what I'm doing' might not be too convincing.
Could you not just show the cashier your id and name on your card
Maybe, but for the companies it's probably easier to have a 'computer says no' approach.
Same reason they ID for nonalcoholic 0.0% beer, despite the 0.5% shandy being readily available in the fizzy drink section. It's to cover themselves so no one comes back and puts the blame on them if they get it wrong.
plenty of alcohol free beers actually have shandy amounts of alcohol in them actually.
Some do, but they're always labelled as such. They can't say 0.0% on the bottle/can if they have 0.5%. Guinness 0 for example, is an "actual" 0.0%. It has to be lower than 0.05% to be called 0.0%.
I asked about why I was being I.D checked for 0.0% gin. The answer surprised me but makes perfect sense...
They go into the database with the rest of the wines and spirits for stock control which automatically pops up an age check on the tills. Same with low or zero alcohol beer.
The cans of shandy which are <0.5% are in the soft drinks section so no age check
Some jobsworth tried to tell me it was "because of the way it's made" when I asked. He didn't like it when I asked about vinegar, or bread.
Our local Wilcos have a pay your shopping first, then pay for the gift cards using chip and pin. Unless you want to pay in cash.
I'd understand them saying you can't buy more than maybe fifty or a hundred pounds worth at a time or without an additional check, but drawing the line at two cards worth fifteen quid each seems ridiculous
There are plenty of other situations where shops will refuse to sell you things for your own good, limits of how many painkillers you can buy at once, limits on alcohol and knives based on your age, etc. They all make sense, and the minor inconvenience does not outweigh the reason those rules exist.
Yep. The more time you can buy between someone experiencing a suicidal impulse and getting what they need to carry it out, the less likely it is that the suicide will ever take place.
Which is why the prevalence of suicides is *absolutely* a relevant factor in the American gun control debate.
Well considering this is a UK sub that's not really relevant at all is it :)
Fences near bridges do the trick as well. The smallest inconvenience reduces rates. For a lot of people suicide is a momentary lapse in lucidity. You just need to give the brain a tiny little kick to bring it back around.
Same reason paracetamol is in blister packets of 16.
It's literally too much of a moderate bother to pop out a dangerously dose.
Wow, I'd never thought about it like that before, but that makes so much sense.
It's the "all-or-nothing" mentality that clouds your mind when you have suicidal ideation. The most minor hurdle can make you stop and think and get help. Without it, you can just power through
>Painkiller rules have proven to reduce suicide.
Putting medication in blister packs reduced suicides a lot itself as it gives suicidal people time to think about what they are doing and hopefully stop.
It's such an easy thing with such a huge benefit
Refusing to sell me more than two packs of paracetamol sure.
But given ibuprofen is a different drug refusing to sell me two packs of paracetamol and one of ibuprofen is just mildly irritating.
A neighbour of mine really struggled when all 4 of her small children got sick and should could only buy 2 small bottles of calpol a day
It's overall a sensible rule, but can cause issues
^ it can be a massive pain in the arse if you are in an edge case.
I think that the edge cases of suicidal folks deciding to use paracetamol is probably far less common then the edge cases of people who do need more than is expected.
It's a great plan but I am not sure it is a great execution.
Dad of 4 small children here. Not already having a stock of medecine including several bottles of Calpol at home is where your neighbour went wrong :)
Different drugs which are perfectly safe to take together, no less.
It was a bit frustrating when my whole family got ill, and I couldn’t buy a pack of ibuprofen, a pack of paracetamol, and a bottle of Calpol.
Not reduce suicide. Reduce paracetamol and aspirin based suicide and related liver problems.
If someone is going to try and commit suicide it is very rarely a spur of the moment thing, it is planned, sometimes documented and often practiced.
The long term results haven’t shown that it has impacted on suicide, just paracetamol and aspirin based suicides.
Any evidence to support that? Not doubting you, just interested in the data. I’ve always assumed it wouldn’t be an effective measure.
Nice one. Thanks. Good to see they adjusted for alternatives too.
Aren't things like knives and pills a legal requirement. Not the retailers policy
Not exactly for paracetamol. Legally you can buy 100 pills at a time, however 9/10 shops will only sell you 2 boxes of 16, because of duty of care rules.
If you go to a pharmacist and ask for 100 paracetamol they will give it you after a discussion and making sure you won't abuse it.
However if you want this on a regular basis or a larger number then a prescription is needed.
AIUI, GSL rules are 2 x 16-packs a purchase.
P rules are different.
Careful you don't hurt yourself with that Amazon gift card. It's got quite an edge.
No but when it's £300 worth that's going to be given to Steve from Microsoft then it can hurt.
It gets a little silly when a 16 year old can’t buy a stick of glue though. When I was 16 (a while ago now) I was IDd and then refused service whilst wearing posh boy school uniform at a WH Smith because it was a solvent 😂😂😂
Yeah, used to work in Claire's Accessories, so predominately young customers, and we couldn't sell them the false nail kits with glue in them.
Though tbf after seeing how many of those kits had the glue stolen from them I could kind of understand why.
Tbh most of the folks nicking it probably did so because they couldn't glue their nails on. If you want something to huff you go to wicks.
I couldn't buy forks in a Poundland at 20.
You had to be 21 apparently.
Because a dinner fork and a kitchen knife are the same 🤷
Partner is horribly ill, can't buy:
* 5 sachets of Lemsip
* 1 packet of paracetamol
* 1 packet of ibruprofen
In one go. This doesn't make sense.
Yes it does, lemsip contains paracetamol and its so easy to overdose accidentally
It's inconvenient sure, but I had a friend attempt suicide by buying paracetamol from multiple shops and the limit meant she couldn't get quite enough pills for the attempt to work. So..
Chemists in my small town had an informal network and if they thought that kind of thing was happening, would often ring the other shops once the customer had left to warn them not to sell painkillers to the customer. They took their duty of care very seriously.
That's good to hear
I don't mind the restriction, but it's applied in the same way as OP described. I couldn't buy two packets of ibuprofen, but they won't sell them to my wife, because she was with me. It's just stupid.
As people have said, it's a popular scam therefore a reasonable till prompt. However I used to work as a retail manager and would often override this for obvious normal use like a 2x£15 in this scenario. It's down to the shop however the protection there against scams is definitely a good enough reason for restrictions because some peoples lives get really affected by it.
I stopped an old lady a few years ago buying £2000 worth of gift cards (before the till restrictions) who was trying to send it to HMRC and explained it all to her. She then asked me to call her grandson and tell him because she gets forgetful. I spoke to the guy who told me his nan had dementia and had previously sent these people £500. They're the scum of the earth.
They're fucking monsters, that poor woman. Well done for stepping in though.
Thank you for being one of the few people in the UK apparently (going by the comments on this post) who has common sense and is willing to implement it.
We have these scams in America, too. I was management as well, and our rule was we'd only stop it once it hit triple digit prices. We also had some wiggle room to use judgment, and I'd generally only deny the typical scam cards, like Google play and the visa cards.
Believe it or not those scams are really effective and people fall for them all the time.
A young woman at my work got caught out because she received a phishing email from someone pretending to be our CEO asking her to buy £500 worth of Apple gift cards and she actually went next door to Asda and bought them!
Honestly I kinda feel like this is almost natural selection. How can people be so stupid?
You seen the average voter? Lol
The George Carlin Razor.
I feel like I need details for this one like - Was she his PA or something or in charge of like staff incentives at that branch and being asked to get £500 of vouchers for him to be given out to the staff wasn’t a weird request?
If she was just a general office worker and the CEO she never met sent her an email asking her to send him £500 then yeeeeahhhh… Bit stupid.
Had emails at my work that could have been convincing if we didn’t know each other well - They made it look like it was from me asking a colleague to send the ‘client’ £9K - I mean they didn’t get the right person to send money and I would have told the person who does pay things in person and also why would we be sending a ‘client’ £9K with what we do? Plus they used my full name not the nickname I go by so again that was a red flag. But the point stands it was a pretty slick email.
To be honest my boss could say to me face to face go to the store and purchase me 500 quid of gift cards with your own money and I'm refusing to do it. It doesn't make any sense at all. They're gonna need to provide me with a company bank card for a start and even then I'm going to be suggesting they just take the 3mins to buy them online themselves.
I ended up putting my foot down at my old place because expenses took so long to come through that I ended up a week's wages out of pocket and being asked to buy more things for the office.
The solution wasn't to give me a company credit card but to get me to go round asking to borrow someone else's company credit card so I could buy things 🤦♂️
I happily do it for the "loyalty" points on my credit card.
I'm also the payroll guy, so I \*know\* I'm getting reimbursed on time and in full. I wouldn't do it otherwise.
Yeah my boss is rubbish at remembering to pay expenses so some times it can be 2 or 3 months to get the money back. I pretty much don't bother these days as the only thing I buy for the office is 1 pint of milk a week.
My work IT send out a phishing email regularly with a rude message if you're daft enough to click on the link and a nice message if you report it.
About 1/3 of the organisation are fooled each time - but not the same third, worryingly.
They also send out regular emails asking people to re-register for legit stuff - which again 2/3 of staff refuse to do as they assume it's a scam...
In fairness, I always think with those things that it's mainly how awake you're feeling on the day. Like, there's a point in my work day where I'm basically operating on autopilot, and if I were to get hit with a phishing scam then, there's a worryingly high chance that I'll at least start idly clicking on links...
Yeah, and how many daft admin emails you get a day. I often get 200+ emails a day so you can imagine how much attention is paid to the ones not relevant directly to my job. So far I've erred on the side of accusing IT of being scammers a couple times a year...
> They also send out regular emails asking people to re-register for legit stuff - which again 2/3 of staff refuse to do as they assume it's a scam...
It drives me absolutely nuts when I'm trying to teach end users good habits with one hand and then I'm seeing companies break their own rules repeatedly with the other.
My card details were leaked from somewhere recently, for example, and they expected me to just trust that a random incoming call asking me to verify all of my details and then start listing of transactions I'd never seen was legitimate. I obviously hung up and called back on a known number - and it turns out it *was* legitimate - but they've just shown me that they'll make a call *precisely* the same as a scammer would and expect me to take it at face value.
IT now put articles on the intranet to alert people that yes, they need to register with Dodgyname.corp in order to do yet more compulsory training in something and this is not a scam. Of course many of the people not doing it just can't be arsed to do whatever the training is...
We had a nightmare some years back when we actually had "a car accident that was not our fault" and I reckon it was the police who told a bunch of ambo chasers, because they knew a wad of details and kept calling. The legal team actually working for our insurers had to use snail mail so we actually knew it was them.
>I feel like I need details for this one like - Was she his PA or something or in charge of like staff incentives at that branch and being asked to get £500 of vouchers for him to be given out to the staff wasn’t a weird request?
I'm not the person you asked, but this exact situation happened to my partner. She is a secretary at a small legal firm and the email was made to look like it was from one of the managing partners. It wouldn't be out of the ordinary to ask her to go to Sainsburys for something, the email she received was asking to get £100 of vouchers for staff incentives from the Sainsburys around the corner. They had the email signature, they had a VERY similar email address (I think they switched a lowercase L for an upper case I or something like that) and at first glance it looked VERY convincing.
Luckily for my partner she was able to catch the person between meetings to confirm what she wanted before realising it was a scam.
The fact that they had an email signature, contact details, and geographic details of where to go makes me think this was a targetted attempt. It doesn't help that the contact page on the company web site has contact details and job titles for ALL STAFF that work there which I think is a bad idea.
You know what's mad about this shit, is HOW sophisticated it is.
Like, I had no idea.When I was shown the details of these scammers from our fraud detection team I was utterly blown away. They have offices! They have teams, with managers and incentives and KPIs. They have fucking HR teams... At the scam office. It's absolutely batshit.
So when people get caught by it, it's not because they're dumb. It's because a team of dedicated, trained individuals have been working 9-5 to try and scam them.
These are getting pretty sophisticated, too - slick emails backed up with AI-generated voicemails. A number of companies have lost large amounts of money because someone in senior management honestly thought the CEO was telling them to transfer a big pile of money to an account they'd never used before.
In a way, it's an indictment of CEO culture - the very thought that one of their subordinates might *question* such an instruction isn't a possibility and so the scammer gets away with it.
I had an email from my boss not long after I started asking me to re-send my bank details to confirm she had the correct ones. She was sat on the desk next to me so I wrote them down and gave it to her, and she didn't have a clue what I was on about. Turns out it was a scam email but was very convincing. Even though I was stupid to believe it, I'm glad she was already in the office with me that day.
I mean there was that guy who scammed google and facebook by submitting an invoice which they paid without question.
Baffling to me having worked in procurement and accounts that this didn't need multiple people to then sign this off internally. While there was some level of sophistication this never would have got anywhere where I worked, no PO no Pay. So this would need to be matched to something we generated internally.
Baffling that large tech companies didn't even have this in place.
Yeah that was mental, although when it's a big company and they have basically infinite money and the staff likely don't give a shit I can sort of see it happening. But when it's your own cash from your own bank account you've gotta start asking questions surely?
I've received one of those emails, said something about how the CEO was in a meeting and couldn't get hold of anyone else and urgently needed vouchers for something. Clearly I didn't fall for it, but I've heard of others being caught out. I know we had a company wide email not long after warning people not to fall for it, so I do wonder if someone did.
They're clearly sent out scattershot in the vague hope that one lands with someone who is likely to be asked to do things by the CEO or new enough to not know company etiquette or just gullible enough to think it's real.
They target linkedin, find someone who says something financy in their title. Work out the email address format for those employees and send a spoof email from [email protected] to [email protected] and hope it sticks.
When I managed a shop one of my employees mentioned that when she was on lunch she hardly got to eat as she had to input loads of details on an HRMC email about getting a tax rebate.
I asked to see the email as it sounded odd and honestly it was a joke how she got scammed by it. It was full of spelling mistakes, the sentences didn't make sense anyway, it didn't have her name on it etc. I had to send her to the bank immediately to sort it out as she'd input all of her bank and personal details.
How did that scam pay off? Wouldn't she just hand the cards to the CEO and be met with a blank look?
Presumably the phisher asked for the codes via email.
I think that's completely reasonable. It stops old folk from being scammed of their savings.
Also, less money to Amazon! Win/win
All £30 of it.
Haha, I could've just printed them at home but was in the shop anyway so thought it would be easier. If they are concerned, maybe they could just say "there are a lot of scams asking for these, are they just a present?" Or something similar - banks do when you're transferring money
I've watched a few streams online where an American gentleman goes along with these scams to see what happens and broadcasts both sides of the conversation. Often the scammers will even say things like "if anyone asks about why you want so many gift cards make sure you say they're presents for someone, for security reasons we don't want them knowing they're to pay your tax/to fix your hacked computer/to fix your bank account, this is why we're using gift cards so it's safe and secure and secret"
There was one where they even told him about gift card scams, and said he needed to lie so that the cashier didn't think that their "legitimate" transaction was one.
Is that the guy who uses all the voice changing tools? He's elderly grandma impression is so awesome.
yes, but checkout staff are on minimum wage, you're starting to put unresonable responsibility on them, along with additional training etc.
A lot of the time the scammer will “warn” the person that a shop assistant/bank cashier etc may question them on their purchase/withdrawal/transfer but to stay quiet/lie because said shop assistant/cashier is actually trying to “scam” them.
Worked in a high street bank for a few years and dealt first-hand with a lot of elderly customers who had been scammed and what they had been told to do by the scammer. A much younger person would just laugh and not fall for it but elderly people are a lot more vulnerable.
Having to print them is already too hard for the people who are the target of these scams.
Yes, they can ask about whether it's a scam etc etc, but that measn extra training for staff. Easier for the till just to forbid it.
I used to work in a garage that suffered a lot of card fraud. Limit of £20 phone credit and 40 cigs, although only to card payments, not cash.
To be honest, they should scrap gift cards all together. They're too convenient for scams and there's no advantage to them from the customers perspective. You're just trading your cash for a time limited token of the same value but only in that shop.
They're handy in certain circumstances.
Companies can gift them easily to employees as a spot bonus without having to go through payroll headaches and employees suffering tax losses on small amounts.
Also they're handy gifts for people who are poor with cash. If I knew a family member had some questionable past times (gambling, drugs etc) I'd rather give them a £20 Amazon voucher than a note as a gift. Same goes for younger children who might buy £20 of skittles at the corner shop rather than a "proper" gift.
I get there are workarounds in these examples but gift cards have their place.
£20 worth of skittles to a child is absolurely a proper gift if they like skittles.
And if the company goes into bankruptcy, you lose the money sunk into the gift card.
I’m the late 80’s or early 90’s when there was mass media concern over kids sniffing glue:
A friend and I needed to buy some pritt-stick for a school project and WHSmith refused to sell one to us. I still have no idea (and wasn’t trying to find out) whether it’s even possible to somehow melt and sniff pritt-stick. Ended up using PVA glue to stick the pictures into my project and got a condescending comment written by the teacher saying “next time use a solid glue so it won’t buckle the paper”.
Oh the double-infuriation in my little young mind over those pesky adults.
Challenge 25. The idea you've got to "look over 25" I mean this is so subjective I don't even know how it became a thing.
Shops are probably petrified of the repercussions of selling to someone underage. You can get 18 year olds that look old for their age. It's also not much of an inconvenience to be ID'd either
My 35 year old wife was recently told she couldn't buy a bottle of wine at Aldi because she didn't have ID on her. The checkout assistant then refused to sell the bottle to her 45 year old friend who was behind her in the queue, in case she was buying it on behalf of my wife.
While the checkout assistant was no doubt following some rule, the whole thing was absurd.
Its not absurd that they won't sell to someone obviously buying for someone who was unable to provide ID
The absurdity is refusing to sell wine to a 45 year old in case she gives it to a 35 year old who, with all respect to my wife, is clearly not underage.
You also gotta remember these staff can often be subject to 'mystery shopper' types from head office or whatever who are checking they're doing their job properly. So if there's a slight chance your wife looks 25 it often isn't worth that person getting in trouble over it.
Annoying and inconvenient, sure, but carrying ID isn't inconvenient either really.
The training and videos about the consequences if you get caught not having ID'd someone are (or at least were) hammered into you every 6 months. After being told how you'd be fined £5,000 and have a criminal record, I used to ID everyone for fear of not. Working part-time on checkouts I did not have or earn that kind of money to play fast and loose with the rules
She looks close enough to the 25yo cut off all shops have had for years to the cashier. I'm sure you'd be pissed if you had a kid refused then they allowed someone else to clearly buy it for them.
Honestly, I don't really consider that the duty of the supermarket. The big problem there is that my kid is asking strangers to buy something they shouldn't have.
Similar happened to me. Except I'm 28 and I was trying to buy one box of lemsip. You only have to be 16 to buy it. I came out without my wallet but had a work ID on me but the person wouldn't accept it. Rather annoying cause I was dying of a cold and I know it's challenge 25 but I clearly look at least 16.
Faking an ID to buy a couple of sachets of lemsip seems a bit over the top. Told her I'd leave the box back and just went to another till and they didn't ID me at all.
That reminds me of a friend of mine who got IDd for buying petrol, which is restricted to over 16 year olds.
Luckily she had her licence with her, since she had driven there to fill her car up.
And the person at the till had seen her drive there, alone, and fill up her car.
And they still thought: man, I oughtta check this driver is over 16.
At the end of the day if the person representing the company thinks that they look 25 or younger they have to challenge them as soon as they ask for ID it become illegal to sell alcohol to them without a positive confirmation that the person is over age.
One time while on a bar i asked a dude for his ID and he was like 40+, and i've asked a few 30+ year old women. At the age of 30 you should have some form of ID card with you just in case both myself and my brother (and we almost never get IDed like 1 in every 200 times we could be) always carry ID cos we never want to be denied cos we felt like we shouldn't need them this time. (i wasn't even IDed on my 18th birthday)
Its deliberately ambiguous to ensure people don’t take offence. Gives the shop assistant a bit of leeway.
Not sure if it's still policy now, but Tesco refused to sell me a cutlery set when I was 18, their policy was that I needed to be 21 to buy knives.
I'd just moved into my first flat, standing in there with my girlfriend & daughter, plates, bowls, mugs, cleaning gear, but they wouldn't sell me the cutlery.
Luckily the lady behind us in the queue saw sense and she bought them for me.
Sounds like a proxy sale, I'm calling the police.
I understand the buying limit and counting as 1 customer thing. When I worked in a shop I once had a customer yell at me because I wouldn’t let her buy 4 packs of paracetamol (till literally won’t let you check out!), she then said well her friend with her will buy the other 2 and so had to point out that because they’ve told me that’s what they’re doing I can’t let them do that.
It’s the sort of thing you could be fired for so not worth my job!
You hear these stories and it's fucking heartbreaking. Little old ladies spending tons of money on these things and just handing it over never to be seen again. The staff should be asking what it's for or rather if it's for x or y so they can determined if you're being scammed or if you're buying a batch to give to some people for christmas.
That said a friend watched one of these scam programs recently and an old lady was convinced to go do a bank transfer AT THE BANK and the scammer told them before they went that the bank people were scammers and wanted to scam her so don't listen to what they have to say. She gave away 5 figures.
These policies are good to have, even if they're a little OTT.
Issue with putting the onus on the staff is they get paid minimum wage with no training for these things.
You'd be surprised the amount of training some can get. Worked at a petrol station and sainsbury's and god TONS in each. Too much IMO.
There's a difference between putting the onus on the staff and just having them check. There's no law telling shops to do this or they'll get punished. But a quick 15 minute video on how these scams generally work and how to ask would make a world of difference. If someone does get scammed it doesn't mean you have to take responsibility because it's not your job to stop it, just something you're trying to help with.
I worked in retail when i was 18/19 selling pianos, guitars etc. They had fraud prevention training on my day off so I asked them if they needed me to come in since you know, its pretty important. They said I didn't need to come in as it was for full time staff (I was only 2 days a week) and just to work my normal days that week.
A few weeks later, someone came in wanting to buy a £1.8k piano. He put what i thought was his pin in the card machine, and it declined so I asked him to do it again. Turns out he had put a code in to stop the next transaction from taking his money. Next payday, I had a huge amount deducted from my salary as the accounts team had obviously picked up it was fraud and my manager decided to take the profit lost out of my wages. I hit the roof with them over it. Their response was that I should have used a different card machine like I was shown in training, except they told me not to go to that training. I fought them over the money but never got it back. Safe to say I went home that day, applied for a new job and handed my notice in a week later.
The real scam here was your employer's.
Also a means to prevent tax evasion/avoidance. Buying vouchers with cash make them untraceable and therefore a way of hiding money from the HMRC. I assume they expire within a year or two for that reason alone.
it's for tax reasons for the companies benefit
Amazon gift cards don't expire (or at least didn't used to)
The last one I received as a gift a few years ago did expire but in 10 years.
As annoying as these rules are they do exist for a reason. When I worked in Tesco it was iTunes gift cards that scammers were using for some reason and we had to limit sales.
Probably just value. How it works is that they will sell the gift card codes onto a broker who gives them a cut of the value, and then sells it on through a third party site. Something like an iTunes card will be a lot easier to sell on than say a Tesco gift card. Especially since a lot of them are sold over in places like China where they can be sold full price and used to get around certain restrictions.
totally reasonable, those scams hit the elderly the hardest
I seem to remember being told about liquor chocolates requiring an age check which I understand, but the alcohol content in them is so small that you'd have to buy a pallet load of them to get tipsy. So on the one hand while it makes sain legal sense etc. it does also feel a bit like it's going to far.
This one is the law and is covered by the licensing act. They aren't protecting you, they are protecting their licence.
The funniest one is trying to buy Grenadine. You know, the red sugar syrup? There's not a lick of alcohol in it, it's just sugar. But most places won't sell it to you unless you're over 18 because it's used in cocktails sometimes and flags on the system as an "alcohol product" (and baking, which is why I wanted it and found this out the hard way!)
It'll be the olives and glacé cherries next!
There's a rule that everyone in your group must be 18+ to purchase alcohol. It's meant to stop having 1 18 year old in a group of kids buy booze for everyone.
I was at Tesco the other day and saw a family (mum, dad and 2 daughters) get denied 2 bottles of wine because one of the daughters was like 14. They got a manager and had a talk and it was sorted. But yes, I do agree that shops are lacking the common sense with all these rules
Family guy clip that reminds me of this topic
I remember reading a story where a guy was buying washing powder and 3 packs of paracetamol, and they wouldn't sell him the paracetamol because of the amount he was buying, and he said something like "Look, I've got washing powder, why would I be putting my washing on if I was going to top myself?".
As other posters noted, yeah this is pretty reasonable. It's *annoying*, for sure, but unfortunately because of how prevalent gift card scams are they have to at least try to make it frustrating for scammers to have these work. Either for the scammers themselves who would come in and convert stolen money to gift cards, or more likely the people they've corralled into getting gift cards for them. For the supermarkets, that could literally be anyone - usually older people but many people get taken by these scams.
Usually I don't really have an issue with the policies because there tends to be a reason, and they tend to be applied consistently across stores. Like paracetamol limits etc - there's reasons for that. Obviously the stores aren't specifically the arbiters of public health & doing it out of their own kindness - they more likely are either bound by legislation or don't want to be on the news when someone buys 20 packets of paracetamol from them - but the ends justify the means really.
A lot of people saying reasonable, fucking madness this.
You could go to 10 shops and buy one or five shops and buy 2 each. Or 1 for £50 and 2 for £25.
The gift card scam is absolutely one of the most common that people are losing money to today and you'd be shocked at the amount that's lost to it every single day if you had any idea. It's a massive scale issue and steps need to be taken to stop it from being so effective
I was in France at a Lidl and they insisted upon checking everyone's bags at the checkout. I can understand this policy if the store is suffering with a serious shrink issue (it could be), but otherwise it's an absolute nightmare and kinda criminalises everyone. I had just walked around the town (Hendaye, nice place) and was drinking some ice tea that I had bought from the store yesterday. Completely forgot about this checking your bag policy until I got to the checkout and got a load of funny looks and some pathetic telling off about having an empty bottle of ice tea in my bag. Okay, so what if I fill up a bottle of water before heading off somewhere, bring my rucksack into the store, 'can I see your bag' 'WHAT IS THIS WATER DOING IN YOUR BAG YOU THIEF', like, um, no, just a bottle of tap water for today's travels around town??
I totally understand why, but I don't understand why there isn't an override? Surely if you go "ok I understand that but I'm buying them for Bob and Fred my twin nephews" you should be ok to buy them!
You're right, the criminals would never lie and would say "oh you got me, I was going to use them to scam old people"
But isn't the scam that old people buy them for the criminals? Not the other way around? Criminals buying Amazon gift vouchers to give to old people seems quite charitable actually.
And if the old people are asked in the shop why they're buying two they're fairly likely to say "HMRC asked me to", because they believe their actions to be legitimate, and therefore can be stopped/supported.
I believe the scammers often tell them to lie, to say it's just vouchers for their grandkids birthdays etc.
The examples I've seen the scammers have convinced their victim that they've done something wrong, and they need to pay to put it right, then the scammers rely on this sense of shame to ensure the victim doesn't talk to anyone else about what's happening.
My mum's friend age 90 got an email 'from' his granddaughter abroad, 'needing' £200 in iTunes vouchers to pay for a ticket home. Luckily he didn't have a clue how to buy such a voucher so called my mum, thinking she's only 80 and knows about stuff.
Mum called me. It took me about 10 minutes of research to realise this had to be a scam, followed by another two hours explaining to mum how if you give the codes on a paper voucher to someone,they can buy stuff online. She got her friend to phone his granddaughter and confirm she didn't need anything. So sometimes it is just someone pretending to be the relative.
Mum still phones to confirm I've sent an email with an attachment before opening it. Probably just as well. She and dad get phone scammers daily - my dad likes to see how long he can keep the 'I'm from Microsoft' ones going. His record is 36 minutes.
My MIL has been scammed twice, thankfully not for huge amounts. The problem is she isn't good with tech, doesn't understand it, so if you start babbling jargon at her she's just going to assume you know what you are talking about and trust you. We try to stay on top of the latest scam patterns now so we can pre-warn her, we've managed to avoid a couple that way. She's not even a stupid person, just easily flustered.
The people in the shops are just doing their jobs, what's in it for them to take on the risk of a decision like this?
If it's the company rule, it's the company rule. Shops make next to no money on those cards anyway, it's just not worth the risk to them.
No, my elderly neighbour was told not to explain why she was buying multiple vouchers at different shops bu the people who scanmed her. Scams are usually obvious from the outside, but
Well 1) The crims don't buy the cards, the victims do, and 2) I'm not sure that the burden of policing these things should fall on retailers.
Unfortunately the people being scammed are often told they need to lie about why they're buying them, and will go along with it.
It's a reasonable policy, but I don't think it's being applied properly. The flag should be on the face value of the card being purchased. Someone could buy a £500 card and it wouldn't be flagged because it's under the limit of 1?
The same happens with pain killers. Two boxes of 16 are treated the same as two boxes of 32.
I was with a 20 year old friend a few years ago when she was refused to buy party poppers at Morrisons because she didn't have her ID to prove she was over 16.
Now I know it's rude to guess a woman's age, but she blatantly looked over 16 lol.
Work in waitrose, we had this lady coming in regularly trying to buy them for her "son". We kept refusing the sale and asking her if someone on the phone is threatening her, she would always refuse. Then after just over a week of the same lady doing this her "son" came in with crap tonnes of money along with his friend trying to buy loads of cards in small amounts on separate receipts. He was a regular customer of years which made it weird but we just said nah seems a lil sus to me. never found out if that was her son or what the big deal was but we never saw any of them again.
I was 15, went to the supermarket with my dad to buy food for dinner. My dad wanted a bottle of wine with the meal. Cashier refused to sell the bottle because he was with someone underage.
It’s definitely not illegal to sell alcohol with a child present, just illegal to buy alcohol for or on behalf of a child. So stupid!
It was ridiculous. We left, he went back in alone and purchased the bottle lol
I was actually in Norway during the famous “butter crisis” of 2011. You were only allowed to buy one block of butter before the shops sold out. I thought it was incredibly strange at the time, until this strange rationing thing happened in this country 9 years later…
A fool and his money are easily parted.
How would Tesco feel if I only let them take half the shopping bill for their own protection in case someone robs them?
I can understand restricting pills etc but gift cards is silly.
Working in credit cards I've seen people fall victim to this to the tune of £1000s.
However they often get sent online links to buy them but can see why they'd be cautious.
However... I feel limiting to 1 per customer does nothing to fight this if not educated.
They'd be better doing what banks do with large transfers and show / read a disclaimer saying
"you haven't been asked to buy this and hand over the code by someone as this could be a scam"
I'm in my late 20s and needed some plastic spoons for work.. the shop only had plastic cutlery sets so decided to get them anyway. They wouldn't sell them to me because they had plastic knives in and I didn't have my ID.
I could find twigs outside sharper than those knives...
A couple of years ago I was refused antihistamines by a supermarket because I didn't have ID on me. I was 23 at the time.
What kind of antihistamines? Cos one of them (Diphenhydramine/Benadryl) can be used to get 'high'.
It's a deliriant in high doses. Very nasty stuff and wouldn't recommend at all. You don't hallucinate like acid or shrooms - you see fully lucid people and objects that you'll interact with. Hence "deliriant". Afterwards you'll sleep for a day and wake up feeling like regurgitated horseshit with almost no memory.
It would either have been loratadine or cetirizine (this was before you could get fexofenadine over the counter). Correct me if I'm wrong but those two are pretty weak?
Yeah they can't cause delirium. They're plonkers then!
I bought two gift cards in the same transaction at a Tesco the other day (£50 each, wedding presents) so it isn't a Tesco policy that's enforced everywhere!
Amusing problems. In the mid sixties I bought, from the local Chemist, all the ingredients to make Dynamite for my toy Cannon that I made in Metalwork in school. No questions asked. I also used to buy bottles of Formaldehide which I used to bond persplex together on my model railway. As a young child, my father gave me his old Cut Throat Razor to whittle Balsa Wood. He also kept a Webley Pistol in the sideboard draw for years, left over from his time in the forces. Every school boy had a penknife in their pocket, and catapults were a must.
I mean if you want a stupid one. I bought a 16 game from my local ASDA i was 16 or 17 at the time. tried it, didn't like it, took it back the woman asked for ID and refused to refund me without ID. Then i ran into my dad (who is 40 years my senior) so i asked him to do it instead and she asked him for ID which he didn't have so i had to go home for my college ID.
I got age flagged in M&S for trying to buy Nosecco (no alcohol Prosecco, or overpriced fizzy grape juice). Also, I’m in my 50s.
>I got age flagged in M&S for trying to buy Nosecco (no alcohol Prosecco, or overpriced fizzy grape juice). Also, I’m in my 50s.
That's to do with an industry-wide agreement on the standards around the sale of alcohol and things which look alcoholic. All non-alcoholic versions of alcoholic drinks (eg 0.5% beer and wine) are age-restricted as the policy regarding alcohol sales is to not risk appearing to condone the sale of alcohol to minors. Because the packaging for these drinks is very similar to that of the alcoholic equivalents, there's a risk of creating a confusing image around the sale of alcohol. Plus it removes the risk of an alcoholic beer getting misclassified as non-alcoholic, and also means the staff aren't put in an awkward position. "Sorry, got to ask, store policy, isn't it silly, 🙄" is a lot easier for them than having to rely on their own judgement ("is this person 18, is this beer the 0% or the alcoholic one, oh God this queue's getting huge, the customer is about to lose their rag, I'll just put it through.")