Retail businesses may be at risk to certain types of crimes and being aware of these can help to protect your business. Below are some examples of common retail crimes:
- Shoplifting is a common crime committed against retail business. It involves stock being stolen by a thief posing as a customer. It may be committed by individuals or organised groups.
- Money fraud is when criminals use an illegal method to pay for goods. This may include counterfeit cash, stolen credit cards or fraudulent cheques.
- Checkout fraud includes a number of tactics where criminals avoid paying in full for goods when paying at the tills. Examples include swapping barcodes or price stickers for a less expensive item or deliberately failing to swipe a product at a self-checkout.
- Refund fraud is another crime that can happen at the till. It can take the form of an offender attempting to return a stolen item in exchange for money or credit, or falsifying receipts.
- Burglary can be committed against retail stores, usually when the shop is closed. These ‘smash and grab’ crimes involve forcing entry and stealing merchandise.
- Abuse can be aggressive or violent behaviour of customers towards shop workers.
- Vandalism is also a risk for retail businesses. It could include graffiti, smashed windows or damaged signs.
- Online scams are a risk for retailers, particularly those who sell online or hold customer data digitally. They could become a victim of online fraud or cyber security breaches.
There are a number of ways the risks of these crime can be reduced. See retail business security measures.