How to catch cash register scams

Updated February 21, 2017

Cash register scams not only cause a business to lose money, they also indicate that one or more employee is untrustworthy. Customers, too, can run a cash register scam and reduce a business' profits. Keep a close eye on your registers and receipts to prevent cash register scams. Learn the ways that people scam registers so that you can detect a scam before losing too much money. Once you've caught onto a scam, take appropriate steps with your employee and put in place measures to prevent future scams.

Place the cash register so the till is far away from the customer. It should be awkward for a person to reach over and grab bills. The website of the Illinois State Police warns businesses about till tapping, which occurs when a customer grabs money while the cashier is distracted. Keep large bills under the register to avoid losing them.

Balance out the totals at a cash register at the end of each person's shift. Checking to see whether the money being recorded is the amount in the register can help you to stop someone from short changing the till.

Create receipts that include the cashier's name or badge number. If a customer complains about being short-changed, it could be a genuine mistake. If it happens multiple times with the same cashier, there is a problem.

Audit your registers and receipts if you notice net sales decreasing while gross sales stay the same. That's an indication of a scam involving purchase and returns by employees. (REF 3)

Do not let employees close out their own cash drawers at the end of their shift. If they do, they could be pocketing money -- especially if they ring up an item like a drink or a meal. Restaurants with numbered meal tickets that have to be turned in can reduce the incidents of employees ditching meal tickets and pocketing cash payments.


Request a fraud audit from an accountant if you suspect you're being duped. A good audit can uncover cash register scams.

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About the Author

Melly Parker has been writing since 2007, focusing on health, business, technology and home improvement. She has also worked as a teacher and a bioassay laboratory technician. Parker now serves as a marketing specialist at one of the largest mobile app developers in the world. She holds a Master of Science in English.