A convenience store owner in East Vancouver is warning other shopkeepers about a pair of scammers who used her debit terminal to make a large refund to themselves.

Cindy Grewal, owner of the Food Stop 24 Hours convenience store on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, says a woman recently came in and refunded $900 to herself using the debit pad while the clerk was distracted.

"She came in and did it so professionally, and we want to put a stop to it because $900 is a lot of money and, as the police stated to staff, five other stores were hit the same way," she said.

Grewal replayed the security camera footage for CBC News, and it showed a woman and her friend entering the convenience store.

The woman wanders around for a bit, and then comes to the clerk's counter to purchase cigarettes. She has her hands full with a bouquet and, while the debit transaction is pending, she asks the clerk to take the flowers and give them to her friend.

The clerk, distracted, doesn't notice that the woman then cancels the debit transaction and then quickly makes a series of pin pad pushes.

What she's actually doing is using the debit terminal's default administrative code to make an override. She then enters a refund for $900, which gets credited to a debit account. The woman then clears the transaction, rips out the printout, and tells the clerk the cigarette purchase didn't go through.

The clerk rings up the cigarettes again and the woman pays for them with the debit card, and then leaves.

Grewal said it wasn't until later in the day when balancing the register that she realized anything was amiss.

Grewal said she didn't know that the debit terminals came shipped with a default common administrative code. She now wants to warn other store owners to change their codes.

The police would not speak about this case nor comment on whether any other stores were hit this same way, but confirmed that there is an active investigation.

No one has been arrested and police aren't confirming the couple seen in the security footage Grewal showed CBC News is involved.

Grewal says the company that provided the store's pin pad has told her there is nothing it can do.

Grewal also said it appears the bank card being used was somehow faked.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Online Dating Scams

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/online-romance-scams-cost-50-million-in-2011_n_1518162.html" target="_hplink">Fraudsters feigned interest</a> in lonely online romance seekers to rob victims of about $50 million last year.

  • Debt Collector Scams

    Phony debt collection agencies <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/ftc-busts-scam-debt-collector_n_1418582.html?ref=business&ir=Business" target="_hplink">have pressured victims</a> into giving up millions of dollars. The Federal Trade Commission recently closed down two California-based <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/ftc-indian-call-center-fraud-debt-collectors_n_1289751.html" target="_hplink">companies with call centers in India</a> after they defrauded Americans out of $5 million over the past two years.

  • Online Marketplace Scams

    Craigslist and eBay are a playground for scammers. Consumers have sent payments to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/23/craigslist-scams-tips-losing-money_n_1445763.html" target="_hplink">places like Nigeria </a>for items advertised online only to discover they have been scammed. Last year, Romanians pretending to be U.S. citizens put fake ads for pricey items on eBay and Craigslist, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/23/craigslist-scams-tips-losing-money_n_1445763.html" target="_hplink">defrauding Americans out of more than $100 million. </a>

  • Prize Money Scams

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/04/28/lottery-scam-probe-nets-2_n_1460916.html" target="_hplink">Canadian police arrested a man </a>who tried to take a $70,000 processing fee from an elderly Californian woman who believed she was going to win a $7.5 million lottery prize in April. More recently,<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/17/jamaica-lottery-scam-fraud-suspects-arrested_n_1525498.html" target="_hplink"> eight Jamaican swindlers accused</a> of duping Americans in lottery scams were also arrested.

  • Charity Scams

    Fake charity organizations come out of the woodwork to exploit the generosity of others, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/tornado-relief-fraud-scam_n_1334853.html" target="_hplink">especially during times of disaster.</a> Most recently, an organization that claims to help disabled veterans called Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/charity-fraud-disabled-national-veterans-foundation_n_1499314.html" target="_hplink">took millions of dollars from donors</a> without spending the money on veterans.

  • Mortgage Foreclosure Scams

    Scammers targeting struggling homeowners have offered false services to help with mortgage settlements. Mortgage foreclosure scams have shot up <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/16/mortgage-foreclosure-scams_n_1429805.html" target="_hplink">60 percent in 2012 as new federal programs</a> for mortgages have provided avenues for fraudsters to exploit.

  • Travelling Relative Scams

    Scam complaints related to travelling surged right before <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/spring-break-travel-scams_n_1418954.html" target="_hplink">spring break last year. Crooks defrauded</a> grandparents out of money when their grandchildren were travelling abroad. The scammers, who find out about the travel plans from places like social media sites, pretend to be the grandchild asking for wire transfers on the phone. The scams have involved scammers pretending in an email to be a victim's travelling relative who has recently been mugged or has lost their passport.

  • Food Scams

    Although there isn't much data on how often it occurs, food scams can pose a tremendous<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/food-fraud-hoax-grocery-store_n_1439995.html#s889480&title=Milk_" target="_hplink"> health risk. The chances</a> of dilution and counterfeiting increase when food is imported from other countries, and some foods like fish and olive oil are particularly prone to adulteration.

  • Online Prescription Drug Scams

    Scammers have sold drugs to online consumers and then posed as government agents asking the buyers to pay money to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/12/online-prescription-drug-scam_n_1420776.html" target="_hplink">avoid jail time. A Texas woman </a>killed herself after being caught up in one of these drug schemes.

  • Credit Card Scams

    Credit card breaches allow fraudsters to make charges on other peoples' cards after getting a hold of numbers. Global Payments Inc., a third party payment processing service for MasterCard and Visa, made headlines in April for reporting that over a million card numbers had been compromised from their system, <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57407981-83/global-payments-calls-data-breach-contained/" target="_hplink">according to CNET.</a>