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What is tag switching?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2022 | Shoplifting

There are many types of retail theft. Most shoplifting simply involves concealing an item and trying to leave the store without pay. It’s a very simple act that is often caught on camera or by alarm systems.

As such, there has been the rise of a practice known as tag switching. What is this and why could you face serious legal charges if you do it? If you’re a parent, what does it mean if your teenager is accused of tag switching by the authorities or by a store owner?

Getting a lower price isn’t worth the risk

Tag switching is different than shoplifting because you’re not trying to get the item for free. What you are trying to do, however, is to get a lower price.

For instance, you may find an item you want right next to a sale item on the same shelf. You could be tempted to switch the tags so that you get the sale price when the item rings up. If the cashier doesn’t notice, you think that you’re going to save a lot of money. If the cashier does notice, you assume that you can just plead ignorance and say that someone must have put the wrong tag on the item.

But it’s important to note that this is still a form of retail theft. If it can be proven that you switched the tags, then you could be prosecuted.

Equally important, however, is that you could be accused of tag switching just because of a simple mistake made by the staff at the store. Maybe they really did put the wrong tag on. You thought the price looked low, but you just figured you were lucky. If something like this happens and you’re facing charges, then you definitely want to look into your defense options.