Argos con artists spotted by vigilant staff

A story that caught my eye this week was the conviction of two con artists that had been targeting Argos and B & Q with a scam involving an electronic scanner and till rolls, forged product labels with catalogue numbers and a received stamp. A member of staff in the Middlesbrough store had become suspicious and the police called resulting in the arrest of Sion Roberts and Andrew Jones. Of course it is commendable they were eventually caught, especially as they are estimated to have stolen £24000, it does make me question the frequency that stores change their procedures.

For as long as I can remember, Argos have issued very similar looking receipts and once your item is passed to you it’s stamped with the received stamp, I’m thinking maybe the larger store groups should be looking at different ways to stay one step ahead of the crooks.

Even smaller retail outlets can add simple changes to their procedures and receipts to ensure that they minimise the risk of fraud. Programmable cash tills make this easier, but when buying one make sure you can add codes, descriptions and change it regularly. Make sure all your staff are aware that there are people out there who will try and rip you off, take addresses off customers that make returns and check back to see if any name appears more than once and just be aware. That customer is not necessarily bringing back goods they aren’t entitled too, but it all helps build awareness.