Escondido businessman warns others about possible scammers using bad credit cards

Massage parlor says man made of with $2,000
Posted at 9:21 PM, May 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 00:21:06-04

An Escondido business owner wants to warn his fellow businesses about a possible new scam.  He said one of his employees lost $2,000 when someone walked into their employee lounge and took it right out of her purse.

“Certainly, I feel violated,” said Ted Snoddy. His wife owns the Thai Therapeutic Massage in Escondido.

Snoddy showed 10News security video that shows a young man walk into the office and present an employee with a credit card.

“He had a real nice, almost professional-type skateboard,” said Snoddy.  “He sat it down here, sat down his water bottle here, walked across the room, took off his backpack, and sat his backpack down.

The video shows the man looking around the office as the employee runs his credit card.

“He had taken several steps back but his actions were not normal for a customer,” observed Snoddy.

After the first credit card is declined, the man asks the employee to try a second.

“He created a distraction with his own credit card,” said Snoddy.

The video shows the man duck into the employee lounge while two employees try to figure out why the credit cards aren’t working.

“He’s gone not 30 seconds,” said Snoddy.  “He comes back and you see a slight bulge in his left front pants pocket.”

The security video actually shows the man was gone less than 10 seconds before coming back into the office.  The women didn’t notice he was gone.

He leaves the office after his second credit card is declined.

Snoddy said he felt sorry for his employee.

“It’s not easy work, he said. "It’s hard work and the girls who work here are honest working ladies."

Snoddy, who is also a retired San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy, said he checked with other similar businesses in Escondido.  He discovered the same man tried unsuccessfully to the same trick in their office. 

“Four hours earlier, two blocks away, this same man had presented two credit cards that were declined.”

Snoddy also discovered a third location had two men come in trying bad credit cards.  Snoddy said one of those men grabbed a wallet but returned it to trade for the smartphone he dropped during the botched robbery.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Escondido Police.