Friday, October 06, 2006

Thieves steal using Tesco self-checkout systems

A number of news outlets have been reporting on an interesting scam going on at UK Tesco stores due to the way their self-checkout systems work. In general, it seems that self-checkout has gotten a fair deal of positive press, and despite some potential conflicts (e.g. reducing impulse purchases), most people like them and tend to use them when available. According to this article from the BBC, though, there's a problem: thieves have discovered that they can use stolen creditcards in the machines with a much higher success rate than via traditional tellers and POS machines. A blurb from their story:
Tesco self-service tills suffer from an apparent "security loophole" making it easy for fraudsters to steal cash, consumer group Which? has said.

Tesco operates the check-outs at 320 stores, allowing shoppers to scan goods and pay with a debit or credit card.

But the tills do not take chip-and-pin card technology and Which? says this allows thieves to use stolen cards.

In response, Tesco said fraud levels at the tills were low and chip-and-pin technology would be in place soon.
Tesco notes that they will begin adding chip-and-PIN technology to their self-checkout lanes soon, which should significantly curtail the problem.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is worrying that people using these machines to steal but to be fair they are so poorly designed anyway that it is not surprising. So many times during the process you are required to get assistant. The message 'unexpected item in the begging area' shows every time they fail to register the products weight which is really annoying.