Self-Checkout Theft

9 Intelligent Ways to Prevent Self-Checkout Theft


With a self-checkout kiosk, you allow customers the flexibility to buy, scan their own things, pay, and go about their business. It’s a growing and effective method of payment. In fact, self-checkout alternatives are predicted to increase by 13.4% every year from 2023 to 2030.

The problem is that self-service checkout alternatives eliminate the human aspect from the purchasing experience. Unfortunately, some buyers interpret this as a license to steal or commit fraud. Shoplifting has long been an issue, but people are now devising new techniques to perpetrate self-checkout crime.

Nonetheless, this does not preclude enterprises from providing customers with this novel alternative. But how can self-checkout kiosk theft be reduced?

Benefits of Self-Checkout for Customers and Retailers

Self-checkout machines are preferred by 66% of Americans over human-operated registers. And 84% of shoppers simply prefer self-scan solutions.

Self-checkout systems may be preferred by some shoppers because they are often faster than standing in line for a cashier.

However, self-checkout provides advantages for your business as well. Labor expenditures can be reduced by staffing fewer personnel per shift. Self-service checkout grocery price checkers kiosk also empower your cashiers by reducing their burden and freeing up time for them to focus on customer service.

Even if scan-and-go self-checkout systems aren’t ideal, the benefits they provide to both customers and companies make them a worthy addition to your storefront.

7 Common Self-Checkout Theft Scams

But how are dishonest shoppers dealing with self-service checkout? Unfortunately, as technology advances, so do frauds. Keep an eye out for common self-checkout theft scams such as:

The switcheroo occurs when a shopper attempts to place items of comparable weight on the scale. They’ll scan the price of a less expensive item of the same weight, but they’ll put the more expensive item in their bag instead.

Batch scanning occurs when a buyer purchases a significant amount of the same items but only pays for a portion of the merchandise. For instance, someone may purchase ten nail paints but only scan six of them.

Bypassing: This daring scam occurs when a consumer walks by the self-check area and exits the store. It’s a popular fraud in stores that don’t have security personnel near the self-service area.

Gift cards: Some robbers take credit cards and use them to purchase an unusually large number of gift cards.

The banana prank is a well-known self-service fraud. People will scan a lower-priced item (such as a banana) when they actually purchased a more expensive one. Before scanning and paying, customers will sometimes pull the sticker off a bunch of bananas and place it on another item or piece of product.

The pass-around occurs when customers pass things from the conveyor belt to the bagging area without scanning them.

9 Tips for How to Prevent Self-Checkout Theft

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but your consumers’ faith isn’t always returned. Self-checkout is a sensible method to grow company, but it must be accompanied by safeguards against client theft. Try these nine self-checkout theft prevention tactics in your store.

1. Connect with Shoppers

If you own a small business, you understand the importance of face-to-face encounters with clients. Greet clients as they walk in and strike up a discussion with them as they shop.

Thieves find it much more difficult to steal from someone who is kind and pleasant. This is why retailers like Walmart have greeters when you walk in. Connecting with customers humanizes the customer experience, making self-checkout theft more difficult.

2. Check Receipts

Linkitsoft has made it routine practice to check receipts whenever a consumer exits the store. This not only assures that shoppers did not take anything, but it may help reduce self-checkout theft in general. After all, a criminal who knows you always ask for a receipt is far less likely to perpetrate retail theft.

3. Recognize Shoppers

Before checking out, certain point-of-sale (POS) systems require customers to log in using an account, app, or loyalty card. This is useful for getting information about your customers, but it can also assist you identify shoplifters. Thieves do not want to be identified, therefore increasing visibility can greatly reduce self-checkout theft.

4. Add Signage

You don’t have to keep your security measures completely hidden. A sign that states, “Smile, you’re on camera!” can do wonders for discouraging minor shoplifters in the self-service area.

5. Make use of scales

Scales are available at self-service kiosk solution in stores such as Target and Walmart. The system requires that the weight of each item match the barcode scanned by the shopper. Scales guarantee that the overall weight in the bagging area matches the products purchased if you’re concerned about switcheroo or pass-around frauds. If there is a mismatch, the system flags it and notifies a team member to look into it.

6. Set Up Physical Barriers

Consider installing physical barriers, such as gates, around your self-checkout lines if it is possible at your store. Some establishments demand consumers to scan their receipts before proceeding, but others utilize sensors to identify magnetized (or stolen) objects.

7. Get Security Cameras 

Walmart self-checkout underwent a series of radical modifications last year, resulting in a significant increase in the number of cameras at each kiosk. Not only has it discouraged self-checkout theft, but a viral TikTok film has showed social media users that Walmart CEO is serious about self-checkout theft.

Walmart even has a display on the screen next to the card reader to alert customers that they are being recorded.

8. Hire Security Guards

Aside from cameras, you can engage a loss prevention guard to work the front entrance, check receipts, and supervise self-checkout. Having a living, breathing human beside the entrance might sometimes minimize the likelihood of theft by discouraging potential shoplifters.

A loss prevention officer does not have to be employed by a large retail chain. Even hiring a part-time employee during peak hours can put a stop to stealing.

9. Educate Your Team

Have you taught your crew how to recognize symptoms of shoplifting? Education can help identify shoplifters before they flee with unpaid products. Train your entire crew on how to manage shoplifting in a systematic manner that prevents theft without jeopardizing safety.

Overcome Self-Checkout Theft with a Smart Kiosk Setup

Offering self-service is excellent, but you must account for the realities of shoplifting. Understanding the benefits of self-checkout, the seven most prevalent self-checkout theft scams, and the security precautions you can take to limit self-checkout theft can help you make the most of self-checkout automation technology.

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