Business Crime Prevention Tips

Theft and Other Crimes

  • Anchor racks to the floor, alternate hangers on racks, and lock small valuables in cabinets to prevent items from easily being taken.
  • Be aware of customers who enter together, but separate from each other. It is a common strategy for one person to distract staff while the other commits theft, possibly even going into an employee-only area.
  • Develop a phone list with nearby businesses to share information, such as a suspicious customer that was just in a store and may be visiting other stores.
  • Establish a key security system. Log who has a copy of any keys. Have them signed for and returned when an employee leaves.
  • Establish and maintain a cash control policy. Keep the lowest possible amount of cash on the premises. Consider posting a notice such as "$100 Maximum Cash in Register".
  • File your key holder and emergency contact information at the police department.
  • Greet each customer that enters the store. If you cannot meet with the customer, or are busy with another, let them know you will be with them in a moment. Let each person who enters know that you are aware of them.
  • Have your alarm system checked regularly, and make sure it is wired to go off at all potential access points, including roof openings.
  • Inspect all closets, bathrooms, and other hiding places before closing.
  • Keep personal items like purses, wallets, keys, or other valuables with you at all times or locked away in a closet or secure area. Never leave personal belongings in customer areas or even in an unlocked bathroom.
  • Lock and monitor the cash register at all times, which should be inaccessible to customers.
  • Make sure all entrances and exterior areas are will lighted and use motion sensor exterior lights, where practical.

Shoplifting Prevention

  • At checkout, look inside items such as boxes that could conceal other merchandise.
  • Design the exits of the business so that all people must pass by security, store personnel, or security cameras.
  • Greet each person entering the store, as mentioned above.
  • Keep expensive merchandise in locked cases and limit how many items an employee can remove to show a customer. Do not handle more than one customer while items are out of the case, thieves can double-team staff by distracting staff while the other steals merchandise.
  • Keep merchandise away from store exits to prevent grab-and-run thefts.
  • Keep the store neat, orderly, and organized.
  • Use mirrors to eliminate any blind spots in corners or difficult to see areas.
  • Watch dressing rooms at all times, limit the number of items customers can take in, and lock them when not in use.

Credit Card Fraud

  • Examine the signature strip on the card; has the signature strip been covered over?
  • Compare and ensure the customer's signature matches the signature on the card.

Check Fraud

Pay close attention to a check's appearance, obvious signs include:
  • No perforation on the check's edges.
  • Appears to have writing changed or erased.
  • Water spots or alterations of check's color or graphic background.
  • A post-dated check.
  • Glossy ink instead of the dull finish of printer's ink.
  • Letters that appear to be the same font and size, as if printed from a PC.

Bank Deposits

  • Change up the times of deposits or withdrawals, and change the route you take to the bank.
  • Disguise your cash bag inside a pack that appears inconspicuous.
  • Do not make any other stops on the way to the bank.
  • If possible, travel with another person to the bank.
  • Make deposits during daylight hours when possible.

Security Cameras

  • Cameras that only show the tops of people's heads do not help identify people.
  • Exit cameras should be aimed towards the interior of the building and show an unobstructed view of the person's head and shoulders.
  • Have a written policy on which staff are authorized to access the playback system.
  • Have at least one camera facing every exit of the business.
  • Preferably, the system should record for 30 days, if not, it should record for at least 7 days.
  • Regularly test the camera system to ensure it is functioning properly.
  • The amount of cameras and placement of them should be sufficient to provide adequate coverage in the monitored area.
  • The camera system should record in a universal format that does not require special hardware or software to be viewed by law enforcement.