Walmart Employee Exposes "Secret” Techniques They Used to Know When Someone's Stealing at Self-Checkout

Mustafa Gatollari - Author
By

May 2 2023, Updated 9:23 a.m. ET

Walmart Employee Freezing Self Checkout
Source: TikTok | @obeygoddess

Walmart loses a reported $3 billion in revenue every single year due to shoplifting, or about 1% of their gross yearly revenue across all locations. Even though automated self-checkout aisles are equipped with cameras and the baggage areas have scales that measure the weight of the products that you're purchasing, folks must still find ways to burgle items across all of the retailer's stores.

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For instance, what's stopping someone from scanning lower-cost items that amount to the same weight as a more expensive product that they don't scan but place on the scale instead of the cheaper goods? Or maybe they'll just pull the old beer-under-the-skirt trick like this woman?

However folks are stealing stuff, it's still going on. And Walmart has some protocols in place to try and stop folks from pilfering products from its shelves.

And one method that this Ex Walmart employee revealed is going viral on TikTok. User Athenia Camacho stated that workers who are in charge of monitoring the self-checkout stations are equipped with devices that allow them to know whether or not someone is stealing, even if folks doubted the efficacy of these devices when they went viral previously in 2021.

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Source: TikTok | @obeygoddess

Athenia states that these devices allow employees to pause transactions on the self-checkout machines of folks that they believe may be shoplifting. This forces the customers in question to call over a worker for help, as additional items will no longer scan. Athenia described the process in her video.

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ex walmart employee checkout
Source: TikTok | @obeygoddess

"On these Walmart TC devices we have the option to pause your self-checkout at any point and pretend there's something wrong with the machine if we suspect there's anything you're stealing," she said.

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ex walmart employee self checkout
Source: TikTok | @obeygoddess

"So at any point on this device, if we click the number, it will show us your entire order and everything that you've so far scanned in, and if we suspect that you're stealing, there's going to be an option at the bottom that says 'pause transaction.'"

Athenia went on, stating that the screen on the machine will either freeze in its current state or turn black or white with an error code message on it.

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ex walmart employee self checkout
Source: TikTok | @obeygoddess

"At that point you have no choice but to call for help, and once we come over we pretend like something is wrong with the machine." The worker will then go through the whole song and dance of trying to troubleshoot the machine before stating that the customer should try using a different station.

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ex walmart checkout employee
Source: TikTok | @obeygoddess

"At that point what they do is, if you already have things inside the bag and you're stealing, they'll take everything out of the bags and they'll be like: 'Don't worry, we'll ring you up at another machine. There must be something wrong with this one.' And at that point they'll just take you to a main checkout where there's an actual person to cash you out."

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ex walmart checkout
Source: TikTok | @obeygoddess

Newsweek reported that Camacho's technique isn't exactly utilized by all Walmart stores; it could just be distinct to the specific location that she worked at.

"After about two weeks of being there I had a loss prevention employee for Walmart tell me that if I look at the TC device at the bottom there is a pause transaction button and she explained that we use it in the event there is a customer stealing."

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ex walmart employee checkout
Source: TikTok | @obeygoddess

[The worker] went on to explain that we should pretend that the machine does not work and lift up the top and then move them to a main register or another self-checkout where we would help them scan every item and take everything fully out of bags. I never personally used the technique but I did see other employees use it quite frequently and they would wait for the customer to leave to put the register back to normal," Camacho said.

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ex walmart employee
Source: TikTok | @obeygoddess

What do you think of the technique? Does it see like an effective and non-confrontational way to curb theft to you?

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