(WMC-TV) - Police say one Mid-South waitress was altering receipts from her customers to pocket more tip money. She raked in hundreds by doing so at a IHOP in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
"Most people just throw their receipt back at the table [and] don't take the copies, but I take that because they can use the copy of the receipt to write for tips," said restaurant patron Lisa Justice.
Police arrested waitress Nicole McCay. They charged her with altering customer's receipts and pocketing around $300 dollars.
"She was actually altering the tip amounts on there, writing in a different number. If you left a three dollar tip, she'd change it to $8 or whatever," said Jonesboro police Sgt. Doug Formon.
Investigators say McCay even used different colored pens. An observant manager noticed McCay's tips were unusually high and started investigating.
McCay told police she had been altering receipts since Thanksgiving. She said she needed the money because she was pregnant and her roommate left and took the rent money.
Restaurant patron Michael Bradley says he pays with cash as a precaution.
"People can manipulate your credit card slips and everything that's the cautious way," said Bradley.
Shawn Danko owner of Kooky Canuck downtown is with the Restaurant Association. He suggests you keep your credit card in sight.
"If you are really concerned, it's OK to say, 'Can I go with you to watch you swipe the card?' I know it creates an awkward situation," said Danko.
Another suggestion is to clearly write out your tip and total it yourself. Then check your bank statements.
Restaurant owners are responsible for any fraud so they are always looking for ways to make sure it does not happen. IHOP in Jonesboro did not want to comment.
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