A Walmart shopper recently reported being falsely accused of stealing items from one of the retail giant’s stores. The shopper claimed that they had scanned all items and paid the correct amount at the self-checkout, but were still accused of theft. Posting a video on TikTok, the lady showed how a rude security guard was arguing with a group of people, before he’s seen walking towards the cashier to return all of his items. Yes, Greg (@gregmurphy77) returned every freaking one of the products.
“When they accuse you of stealing, you return that s***,” Greg said. The surrounding people praised him for standing on his ground, and returning the whole cart. “Returning a full cart is fun to watch!!” one woman remarked on the video. “I agree with this post. Every time they want to stop and accuse you, return all that refrigerated stuff and let them deal with it. We have the power,” another person added. This self-checkout nightmare could happen to anyone.
This Is What You Should Do When Being Falsely Accused of Stealing at the Self-Checkout
This incident sheds light on a common issue with self-checkout machines in supermarkets: the potential for theft. According to experts, there are two main tactics used by thieves to steal from self-checkout machines. The first tactic is known as “sweethearting.” This involves a shopper scanning some items, but not all, and then bagging them as if they had scanned everything. The thief will often work with an accomplice who distracts the self-checkout attendant or blocks the view of the machine’s cameras.
The second tactic is called “ticket switching”, also known as the “banana trick”. In this case, a thief will scan a cheaper item (like a banana, hence the name) and then place a more expensive item in the bagging area. They do this by printing a barcode sticker for the cheaper item and placing it on the more expensive item. The self-checkout machine will then charge the lower price for the more expensive item.
In Greg’s TikTok Video, some people described similar situations, where they were accused of theft. “I was accused of stealing a water bottle at Walmart. It was a target exclusive item, so I was like, ‘unless you sell target items, leave me alone,’” one woman recounted.
The Whole Self-Checkout Idea Is Not Working as Meant
Despite the multi-million technology the supermarket chains have thrown to the self-checkouts, they are not working as intended, and costumers start to express they dislike. “They want us to do the work of a cashier and then accuse us of being thieves on the way out,” one user said.
“I really hate using the self-checkout kiosks. They’re slow, complicated, and usually fail when scanning the stuff. A total mess,” a woman claimed. Walmart CEO Doug McMillion confirmed in December 2022 that theft across Walmart stores was “higher than what it has historically been.”