When it comes employee investigations, sometimes the “smell test” will just not let you rest. You know, those situations when you listen to a story or a business practice, and something just plain stinks. On the surface, nothing appears to be wrong, but there is a smell just below the Read More
Employee Theft in the retail industry, also commonly referred to as internal theft, occurs when an individual steals from the company where they are currently employed. While other types of retail theft often garner more attention, employee theft typically causes the most damage to retailers on an annual basis, carrying the greatest financial loss and a substantial impact on the business.
In most situations, retail customers only have access to merchandise on the selling floor—which is protected by the sales team, loss prevention personnel, and various anti-theft systems and controls. Employees, however, have greater access to more systems, more products and more areas of the store than customers. They have access to merchandise in the stockrooms, receiving, or shipping areas where CCTV surveillance, EAS tags and other anti-theft devices may be less effective.
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They may also have access to cash from customers, register drawers, or the cash office. Those with access to the POS register system may be provided with ample means for other theft and fraud issues. Employees know the store team members, learn their habits, follow their schedules, and can take additional measures to avoid detection. Simply stated, employees have a much greater opportunity to steal. As a result, employee theft can affect a business much more quickly and to a significantly greater extent than most external theft incidents.
Employee theft incidents can occur in a variety of different ways. Theft of merchandise, cash and cash equivalents, product consumption, theft of equipment and theft of services are some of the more common issues. Yet as varied as the types of theft may be, there are even more different methods of theft that can used by employees to steal from their companies; only limited by the creativity of the individual and the opportunities that are presented. There are also a variety of reasons that can lead employees to make the ill-advised decision to steal. Personal issues, financial problems, peer pressure, drug and related dependencies, and coercion are just a few.
Most employees are honest and hard-working people with honorable intentions. However, when employee theft issues occur, it can lead to significant concerns that can impact the store in many ways, reaching far beyond the financial losses caused to the company. It impacts retail sales. It impacts retail shrink. It impacts the company brand and reputation. It also impacts all of the hard working associates who give their best each and every day.
This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Wayne Hoover, CFI discussing the SWOT analysis of the interview process. Read More
What is the latest employee theft scam putting a dent in the profits of your retail organization? Think about any recent changes. Maybe you’ve implemented a new cash management protocol, or a new loyalty program, or a new tabletop payment system. Regardless of what your stores have recently done to Read More
This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Dave Thompson, CFI, discussing the use of the commonly used phrase “human lie detector.”
This is a worrisome phrase. It’s worrisome when people think they can identify truth or deception simply based off somebody brushing lint Read More
This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Dave Thompson, CFI, introducing fact-finding interviews.
A fact-finding interview, one in which we try to gather information, is extremely important in a thorough investigation. But fact-finding interviews need to be strategically planned. The investigator should do Read More
INTERROGATOR: Hello Sally, my name is Todd, and I work in the loss prevention department. My role in the company is to investigate loss, but truthfully I have lots of stores to cover and I’m spread pretty thin. Regardless of not having much evidence against you, I want to ask Read More
As many of you know, I have been researching employee theft, occupational crime, employee dishonesty, and workplace deviance for more than 30 years. I peruse scholarly journals and academic publications regularly for relevant research studies that can help us all better understand this phenomenon. This column features a couple of Read More
This week’s International Association of Interviewers interview and interrogation training tip provided by Wicklander-Zulawski, has Dave Thompson, CFI, discussing the importance of preparing and planning before you walk into an interview.
Often, investigators are tasked with interviews that have to happen in real time, or they tend to shortcut an investigation. Remember Read More
Restaurant employees can hurt profitability in a variety of different ways. Rarely is restaurant theft as simple as taking money from the cash register. Given that restaurants operate on incredibly narrow margins, it is important to identify and reduce the opportunities for employee theft. Here are five common ways in which Read More
The following is Part 2 of a 3-part series on the history of interrogation provided by Wicklander-Zulawski and Associates.
In Part 1 of this series, we discuss the past history of interrogation, beginning with the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to the Salem witch trials of the 1690s. Read More