Self-service check outs are convenient but recent surveys suggest indicate one third of shoppers are using them as a way to underpay for the their groceries.
Australian National University criminologist Emmeline Taylor coined a term for people involved in the illegal activity: SWIPERS (seemingly well-intentioned patrons engaging in routine shoplifting), reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
Dr Taylor’s research indicates that more and more shoppers are scanning expensive items ‘as carrot and onions.’
It turns out, one supermarket chain was selling more carrots than they had in stock.
‘Further exploration of the irregularity found that over 1000 transactions involving more than three pre-packed 1 kilogram bags of carrots had passed through its self-service checkouts in one week,’ Dr Taylor said.
She added, ‘Shoppers were transacting more expensive, lighter items such as cherries and grapes and passing them off as root vegetables.’