Retailers: beware lovers' light fingers

After Ponzi schemes and rogue trading comes an even more sickening swindle: 'sweetheart fraud'.

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

At least that's according to secure payments company the Logic Group, which is warning retailers this weekend to look out for schemes involving collusion between employees and their partners.

So what is ‘sweethearting'? According to Logic, it's a scam in which a shop-floor employee attempts to save a few quid through such dodgy means as failing to charge their partner for one or more items they're buying, offering extra discounts, or topping up their partner's loyalty card when another customer fails to present one. 

The Logic Group says such deception is hard to detect with CCTV. But it falls short of presenting a simple alternative, such as employing someone to walk the shop-floor looking out for staff holding hands with punters and slushily mumbling the word ‘shmoopy', while stuffing a raw chicken into their backpack.  

Indeed, the scheme seems to have less to do with Valentine's Day than with the parlous state of the economy in general. When times are tight, it is perhaps easy to imagine those short of both cash and scruples cooking up schemes to save a few pennies. But surely receiving chocolates, cards and a bottle of bubbly on Saturday will be far less romantic if you've had to help your ‘significant other' nick them from work in the first place.

Here at MT we're hardly in love with the concept of Valentine's Day, but it does seem like the wrong time to highlight people's more selfish side. The Logic Group urges retailers to watch out for ‘cash-strapped, everyday individuals that are attempting to skim a few extra pounds from their shopping bill'. That's just about everybody these days. May we suggest an alternative? Showing that you trust your employees. If you throw the right amount of love in their direction, they'll be more likely to love you right back.

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