While many shoppers appreciate the convenience and speed of self-checkout, they have created a whole new world of frustration for businesses.
Major retailers like Walmart, the largest in the world, obviously contend with theft on a global scale, a fact expounded by the advent of self-checkout.
But with their enormous resources, Walmart has put in effort to combat self-checkout theft and keep these losses as low as possible.
Here is a must-read on Walmart self-checkout theft and all that the company is doing to keep its losses to a minimum.
Can You Get Caught Stealing From Walmart Self-Checkout In 2022?
You absolutely can get caught stealing from Walmart at their self-checkout registers.
Not only that, when you get caught, Walmart tends to press charges right away.
According to SebastianDaily.com, retailers have a fairly long grace period to decide if they want to press charges or not.
But Walmart has been known to do it right at the time of arrest, wasting no time on ensuring that the incident becomes a part of your permanent record.
With that on your permanent record, potential employers and rental companies can see that you were caught stealing.
If you’re looking to secure a mortgage, banks will also be privy to that knowledge when they run their background checks to decide if you’re a suitable candidate.
Walmart has the option to actually drop what’s known as “petty theft” charges, but perhaps after learning the hard way, they have opted to go in the other direction.
Is it worth the risk, knowing that Walmart can throw significant resources at charging you, to say nothing of the fact that they undoubtedly have the theft on camera?
One word: Nope!
If you’re wondering what steps Walmart has taken to prevent theft at their self-checkout registers, keep reading.
How Does Walmart Prevent Theft At Self-Checkout?
Walmart, like all other retailers since retail existed, strives to reduce what’s known as “shrinkage,” or inventory loss.
One of the main causes of inventory loss is theft, both internal and external.
Walmart has spent billions on reducing shrinkage, investing in a variety of technologies designed to pick up on suspicious behaviors.
One of the ways Walmart attempts to prevent theft at their self-checkout registers includes “computer vision technology,” or the Missed Scan Detection program.
If you have ever used Walmart’s self-checkout, you might have looked up mid-scan and noticed that you – on a screen – were staring right back at yourself.
That’s the video camera detection technology from Everseen, a tech company based in Ireland.
According to Hayley Peterson at Business Insider:
The cameras track and analyze activities at both self-checkout registers and those manned by Walmart cashiers.
When a potential issue arises, such as an item moving past a checkout scanner without getting scanned, the technology notifies checkout attendants so they can intervene.
But you’re not just being watched for suspicious bodily movement.
The registers themselves are being monitored by employees.
Have you seen the handheld devices they’re carrying at the self-checkout area?
Those are connected to the registers, and they’re tracking everything that is happening at registers.
In fact, some educational TikTok users have posted video clips showing viewers what employees see.
Check out this article from Distractify, which shares one of the videos and shows you what the handhelds’ screens include – basically everything that’s happening on the registers, in real-time.
Does Walmart Monitor Self-Checkout?
Walmart does monitor their self-checkout registers using a computer AI system known in-house as Missed Scan Detection.
This program, from the Cork, Ireland-based company Everseen, combines video surveillance with scanner detection.
It picks up discrepancies between items scanned and items placed in the bags, on the weighted bagging sections.
Walmart also keeps employees close-by, armed with handheld monitors that receive real-time feeds of what is happening at the registers.
If an item is placed in a bag and it wasn’t scanned, the monitoring employee receives a notification
Do Walmart Self-Checkout Have Facial Recognition?
Facial recognition is a controversial technology, but Walmart does not currently use it as part of its security measures.
Some retailers that are listed as using it include Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, and H-E-B; though the latter two have released statements denying it.
Does Walmart Use Fake Cameras?
Without the inside track from someone currently on Walmart’s security team, there is no definitive answer for whether or not the security cameras are all real.
However, the camera being used to monitor your actions at the self-checkout are assuredly real and working – you can see them working right before your eyes
If you’re thinking you can “cheat” the self-checkout registers without detection from the regular security cameras, you’re probably better off just not attempting it, though.
Safer to assume all the cameras are real, and you will be caught if you attempt something.
What Is The Walmart Secret Self-Checkout Hack?
TikTok, ever the source of a viral dance sensation, is also a lightning rod for disinformation and duped dreams.
One user started a fake rumor that shoppers could walk into a Walmart, and when the doors opened to let them in, they could look up and find a code.
The story goes that shoppers could then sidle up to a self-checkout register, enter the code and receive a discount off their total bill.
Unfortunately, this “hack” is not real, but according to the Independent UK, “millions” were duped by it.
The video was peppered with comments from disappointed TikTokers who tried it and did not receive the desired results.
If you do look up and see a four-digit number where the doors open, it’s more than likely just the store number.
As the biggest retailer in the world, Walmart has had to step up their game when it comes to theft prevention at their popular self-checkouts.
Through a combination of AI software, monitoring technology and good old-fashioned vigilant employees, Walmart strives to prevent product shrinkage at the self-checkout every day.