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Losses from theft has been increasing recently due to the economy and other factors, so in the future I will dedicate some space to talk about what I am currently observing so that you as a business owner or company can be sure to be looking out for these and try to prevent them.
A few entries ago I mentioned how you have to look out for that employee you would not expect theft from. Today I am going to tell you some of the what I am seeing going on in stores today that will cause you theft if you are not careful.
One of the things that you always have to watch for is the decoy or distraction. This is a person that is designed to distract those looking for shoplifters or other thieves. The decoy will carry in the backpack and just walk around the store looking suspicious while someone else is actually going through and shoplifting.
The other is the person designed to distract employees. This person will find an employee and try to distract them from the person doing the shoplifting. While this is been happening for years what is on the rise recently is the number of people using their daughters or sisters to be the distraction.
The girl will dress up in tight jean shorts or something else design to provoke the male employee to be distracted and not pay attention. The sad part of this is some of the girls have been in the 12-15 year old bracket and dressed up very provocatively.
The latest incident I saw the young woman who was in the aforementioned age bracket dressed in the jean shorts and showing lots of cleavage distracted the teenage male employee while the brother stole hundreds of dollars in game console games. They then headed to a waiting car being driven by the father who was running the ring.
Parents are not just using their teenagers to steal for them. Another disturbing trend is parents sending their young children in to steal for them. Since kids are often ignored unless they are destroying something or in a toy department, the kids will be instructed to walk around the store and pick things up.
A recent incident I observed was a 10 year old who went around picked up some clothes, changed in the fitting room then walked out to the car to the waiting parents.
I wish I could say the above incidents where isolated events but I have seen reports and the incidents in many locations for myself.
Of course you always have to be looking out for credit card fraud and stolen cards. Once case is people are going into stores buying lots of gift cards and clothes and trying to use a stolen credit card. When it comes up as needing authorization the people will tell the cashier an authorization number that will work and they go off. This means that people ringing customers up need to be more prepared than ever for these kinds of attempts.
These days you need to be more aware that ever to ensure that your company doesn't take serious hits in theft.