WALMART patrons should never use the store’s self-checkout lane as it could reportedly cost you thousands in legal fees, a lawyer has warned.
Carrie Jernigan is a lawyer on TikTok who shares her expertise with viewers, including tips when it comes to shopping.
In a recent video, Carrie warns her viewers about the hazards of self-checkout and that even if you don’t intentionally steal while using the counter, Walmart can still come after you.
This situation doesn’t just apply to Walmart but to any big box store.
She claims that stores will look to old customers when reviewing lost inventory, even months after the item left the premises.
The lawyer categorizes shoppers caught out by self-checkout into three groups.
“The first group of people getting charged with shoplifting using the self-checkout are people going into the stores with the intent to steal,” Carrie said.
“The second group of people catching this charge, I will call the theft-by-mistake. These are the people that I genuinely think just forgot to scan an item.”
She continued: “It is usually something that was on the bottom rack of the cart or, say, a DVD that has slid under the purse, and when they are walking out, asset protection stops them.”
The last group of people are targeted after they leave the store.
They get into trouble when the store starts looking into lost inventory.
“It is something that, say, asset protection is doing a quality control check or inventory weeks, days, months later comes up short,” Carrie explained.
“So they will begin watching hours of video to see the last person who checked out with the Mario Lego set because they’re too short or an Xbox game, and for some reason, they pinpoint that they think you did it.”
So, how do these stores get away with doing this?
“Because of who these big box stores are, they usually have to present very little evidence to get an affidavit or warrant signed,” Carrie said.
What happens once they do get an affidavit or warrant signed?
“The charges that could land you up to a year in jail get filed, and then you are fighting for your life trying to determine what day you were at Walmart, what all you bought,” Carrie said.
“You have to spend thousands of dollars hiring a lawyer and we have to go through grainy video footage to try to determine what all you bought that day,” she warned.
Carrie said that the charges are often dropped once an attorney can prove that their client has not stolen.
However, you are now out thousands of dollars and a lot of time and energy is wasted.
The U.S. Sun reached out to Walmart for a comment, but the corporation had not answered by the time of publication.
Carrie told viewers to only use self-checkout for small purchases, always pay with a card, keep their receipts to keep records of their purchases and be slow and intentional when scanning items.