We’ve all experienced the frustration and overwhelmed feeling when standing in front of a self-checkout machine at the store. These machines were supposed to make our lives easier, but they often end up causing more problems than they solve. And now, there’s even more reason to avoid them.

According to Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University, self-checkout machines were primarily implemented by retailers to save money on labor costs, without considering the customer’s best interests. In reality, customers have disliked these machines from the very beginning.

Companies like Walmart and Target have heavily invested in self-checkout machines because they can save up to sixty-six percent on labor costs by replacing cashiers. However, studies have shown that these machines frequently malfunction, requiring assistance from a human worker to ensure a smooth checkout process.

But there’s an even darker side to self-checkout machines. Some retailers have been accused of falsely accusing innocent customers of theft or shoplifting to maximize their profits. These retailers use self-checkout errors as an excuse to target unsuspecting customers and force them to pay for alleged “crimes” they never committed.

Recently, criminal defense attorney Carrie Jernigan took to TikTok to warn people about the dangers of using self-checkout machines. In her video, she reveals that big-box retailers like Walmart will stop at nothing to go after customers who may have accidentally forgotten to pay for an item or left it in their cart. These companies are even willing to unleash a team of attorneys to make you pay for your “offense” – even if it was an honest mistake.

The truth is, using a self-checkout machine comes with significant risks. Retailers are quick to assume guilt and will thoroughly scrutinize surveillance footage to identify potential “offenders” based on the last customer who used the machine. They don’t need much evidence to file charges that could result in a year-long jail sentence. Suddenly, you find yourself fighting to clear your name and prove your innocence.

So, how can you protect yourself? It’s simple – avoid using self-checkout machines altogether. Opt for a traditional checkout lane where a human cashier can assist you. By doing so, you reduce the risk of being falsely accused and ensure a safer, more reliable shopping experience.

Remember, it’s crucial to be aware of the hidden dangers that exist in our everyday lives. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and make choices that prioritize your peace of mind.