8 Types Of Employee Theft And How To Identify Them
Managers and business owners hope to hire a team of trustworthy employees, but it’s impossible to be 100% certain that each and every one of your staff is honest. Employee theft happens in every industry, but it can be prevented, if you know the signs. There are eight types of employee theft, here’s how to identify them all.
What is it: Skimming is when the employee “skims” a little bit of the money they charged a client and keeps it for themselves. For example, if they charged a customer $5 for a meal, and only deposited $4 in the cash, keeping $1 for themselves.
How to identify it: Skimming can be found when there is a consistent imbalance in the register. Having a bit of variance from day to day is normal, but the difference shouldn’t be more than a few dollars. If the imbalance is consistently more than $3 then you may have someone skimming the register.
What is it: Under-ringing is harder to spot than skimming, because while the cash balances out, the inventory does not. Because inventory is done less often, employees are able to get away with ringing in fewer items then are being sold, while still charging the full amount, pocketing the difference for themselves.
How to identify it: It’s tricky to identify because inventory doesn’t happen every day, but your best defence is to keep your inventory as up to date as possible is. A platform like Solink can help you identify issues like this by helping you narrow down transactions by specific variables like item sold to identify suspicious behaviour without having to watch hours of footage.
What is it: Employees who give their friends and family discounts without authorization, false returns, or failing to scan certain items on purpose are all aspects of sweethearting.
How to identify it: If you suspect an employee of sweethearting, you can watch their transactions closely using Solink. Narrow down transaction by discount type and easily skip through every transaction to see who was receiving the discount.
What is it: Anytime an employee takes something from your location without paying for it is product theft. Whether it’s taking a box of fries, a drink, or something bigger, there is rarely a reason why an employee should ever take something without paying.
How to identify it: You may not notice it at first, but similar to under-ringing, it’ll be apparent when you’re doing inventory. This is a time when having your honest employees on your side is beneficial. They can watch what’s happening when you’re not around and can report any suspicious behaviour.
What is it: Blunt theft is when an employee takes cash directly out of the register. It’s bolder than the other types of theft, and because of that, it can be easier to figure out. You may find that this type of theft occurs when an employee feels underpaid, underappreciated, or taken advantage of.
How to identify it: The cash register will have an imbalance after an employee steals from the register, so it’s easier to figure out who is doing it as long as you don’t have multiple people using the same registers. Solink can send you real-time alerts when your cash opens without a transaction taking place, allowing you to get video evidence to support your investigations.
What is it: Employees who arrive late, leave early, or take extra long breaks end of costing your business a lot of money each year. You’re paying them the full amount, but they aren’t putting in the work.
How to identify it: If you have a punch clock, you’ll be able to monitor arrival and departure times a little bit easier, but this is another situation where having the other employees on your side is beneficial. They can help point out which employees are taking longer breaks or leaving early, and once you have an idea of who it is, you’ll be able to monitor them a bit better.
What is it: Short ring theft is when an employee gives a customer something at a cheaper price by ringing in a cheaper item. For example, giving the customer a full combo meal when they only rang through the burger.
How to identify it: Again, like under-ringing, it’s hard to notice until the inventory is counted. What you can do, is use Solink to see the transactions happen live. You’ll be able to see the POS receipt overlayed on the video, and you’ll be able to visually confirm whether or not the appropriate items are being given based on the orders.
What is it: Employees tell the customer that a gift card is now empty and offer to throw it away for them, when in reality still has some value remaining on it and use it for themselves. Even if it’s just a few dollars or cents, it’s still stealing from a customer.
How to identify it: You can use Solink to narrow down your transactions to just those with gift cards used as a payment, and check the remaining balances on the card. If there is an amount remaining, you can check the video to see whether or not the employee returned the card to the customer.
Knowing the different types of employee theft and how to prevent them gives managers an edge over any untrustworthy employees. Employees may underestimate their managers, but if it’s clear that the manager is watching out for thefts they will be less likely to test their luck. Posting an employee theft infographic like this in your breakroom lets employees know that their managers are keeping an eye on everything going on in their business; it may also help the honest employees learn how to identify theft as well, allowing them to act as your second set of eyes. Setting up a clear policy with your employees lets everyone know the consequences for theft, and can help deter future incidents.