UPC Switching Scam
It's not a new scam to switch bar codes and buy merchandise for a lower value, but how do you get away with over $1M worth of merchandise with this scam?
In a statement of facts filed with Tidwell's plea, he admitted that, during one year, he and others conspired to steal more than $1 million in merchandise from large retailers and sell the items through eBay. The targeted merchandise included high-end vacuum cleaners, electric welders, power winches, personal computers, and electric generators.
Tidwell created fraudulent UPC labels on his home personal computer. Conspirators entered various stores in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Texas and placed the fraudulent labels on merchandise they targeted, and then bought the items from the store. The fraudulent UPC labels attached to the merchandise would cause the item to be rung up for a price far below its actual retail value.
That requires a lot of really clueless checkout clerks.
EDITED TO ADD (11/7): Video of talk on barcode hacks.
Posted on October 31, 2008 at 6:43 AM • 71 Comments