Barcode Swapping Ends in Jail

In order for a product to be sold in stores, it needs to have a barcode. The cashier scans the barcode and then information regarding the product, most importantly, the price, shows up on the computer. This process is repeated will all of the products in a customers’ cart until the final total is reached. But, what about self-checkouts?

Increasing in popularity, self-checkouts allow consumers to be their own personal cashiers, but what if some shoppers aren’t being honest? It’s not easy to simply forgo scanning an item—the machine will realize and yell at you. But, what about the barcodes? What if the barcodes for lesser expensive items were scanned in place of the real barcodes?

That’s exactly what two Syracuse women set out to do. Bernisha Scott, 25, and Latonya Crawford, 29, paid approximately $60 for $840 worth of merchandise by swapping barcodes and using the self-checkout at a Walmart in New Hartford.

Thankfully, the women were caught and taken to Oneida County Jail. But, it makes me wonder if there are others who may have gotten away with it. It also makes me wonder when RFID for grocery stores and large retailers such as Wal-Mart will become commonplace.

Had the Walmart used an RFID system, people like Scott and Crawford wouldn’t have even been able to try to get away with it.