A lawyer has revealed the two phrases customers should never say when accused of shoplifting at a self-checkout.
Eugene Cisco, a lawyer with over four decades of experience, used TikTok to warn shoppers about the self-service kiosks.
The so-called “Self-Improvement Lawyer” (@reallifeandlaw) regularly posts on the social media platform to advise on a range of legal issues.
In a current clipCisco found that shoplifting charges have increased by about 30 percent compared to statistics over the past few years.
Cisco explains that one of the “biggest mistakes” you can make when accused of shoplifting is to say you forgot to scan an item.
“One of the biggest mistakes a person can make after a store’s staff accuses you of shoplifting is to apologize for not scanning an item,” the attorney said.
Cisco said it wouldn’t help the alleged shoplifter — whether or not he intentionally forgot to scan an item, an employee won’t believe him.
“There isn’t a store associate in the world who would think you just forgot to scan an item,” he said.
“And the jury won’t believe you either.”
Instead, he advises buyers to remain calm in this situation.
“The best advice I can give you if a store clerk attacks you and accuses you of shoplifting is to keep your mouth shut,” he said.
The second phrase you should never say in such a situation is that you have money in your pocket for the unscanned item.
“Nor will it help you to tell that employee, a judge, or a prosecutor that you had money in your pocket at the time you were accused of shoplifting,” Cisco said.
“Having money in your pocket is no defense against a shoplifting charge.”
According to the lawyer, self-checkout has become a “recipe for disaster” by forcing people who aren’t used to such machines and don’t want to use them.
“In my practice, I’ve seen literally thousands of people go to court on charges of shoplifting after using one of these self-checkout machines,” Cisco explained.
One viewer admitted: “I’ve missed an item in my cart twice now. By an accident.”
“I took it back once at closing time. Went in and bought it a second time. Could have been bad…”
“Therefore I refuse to use self-checkout,” wrote another.