In summer 2003 my check book was stolen by a ‘painter’ who also turned-out to be a heroin addict. He went to the Kingston NY Home Depot and ‘purchased’ some big ticket items – using one of my checks. He returned the items to the store in exchange for cash. He repeated this scam within the same week. n This addict took my blank checks to the store, shopped for expensive items, signed MY NAME to the checks and took them to the register where he signed his OWN name and provided his photo ID and driver’s license number (printed on the checks) to the clerk. The clerk then rang-up the sale and the addict left the store.n Later that day the addict returned to the store (after that clerk had left) and presented the items for ‘return’. Another clerk or manager then accepted the items and issued the addict a CASH refund.n Mind you, he did this twice in 2 days at the same store and Home Depot management didn’t seem to think anything was unusual! n Home Depot sent the ‘cashed’ checks to my bank (HSBC) which examined them and refused payment (thankfully) but Home Depot waited over 30 days to send me 2 notices that I owed them over $1000 due to my checks being refused. n [I hadn’t even known the check book was stolen because I’d never used it and kept it in a supposedly ‘secure’ place which hadn’t appeared to have been violated. I’d been sent the check book in the mail when I opened my HSBC accounts but I preferred paying with cash.] n Upon receiving the notices from Home Depot (both notices received the same day in separate envelopes) I immediately drove to their store to demand an explanation. The store manager explained their corporate policy allows them to accept (from contractors) checks written on 3rd party client accounts – EVEN though they have no prior record of the client! When I postulated, to the store manager, drug addicts are ripping-off innocent people with the express assistance of Home Depot’s corporate policy she just shrugged and parroted “That’s our policy””. n The addict was finally caught when trying the same scam at the Sears auto store next door when a security person recognised him on camera. Mind you – the guard recognised him NOT due to a police or security bulletin but due to his personal acquaintance. n Has Home Depot changed this policy? Not to my knowledge. nLarrynKingston
Rt 9W, Kingston, New York U.S.A.