Training Your Staff to Recognize and Prevent POS Terminal Tampering

How do you suppose the bad guys get to your point of sale (POS) terminal to tamper with it? It’s simple. They get past your staff.

A lot of POS tampering happens online, but there are still enterprising criminals who actually go to your place of business and physically tamper with your equipment. That little box sitting next to your cash register is vulnerable, and criminals are going to pick the easiest target.

How Do They Do It?

You may have heard it said that you can steal anything, anywhere, if you go in wearing a hard hat and carrying a clipboard. That is actually true. People don’t expect people who don’t look like criminals to engage in criminal activity. If you look like you belong, people will assume that you are on the level.

If someone comes in, looking respectable, and tells your staff, “I’m here to service the machine,” what are they supposed to think? Or if the person says, “I’m from Insert Name of Company, and I’m here to replace your credit card terminal,” again, will they automatically assume criminal activity? Probably not.

Realistically, almost anyone is going to be allowed behind the counter, and given access to the POS equipment, if their story sounds reasonable. That’s why vigilance is so important.

Training Your Staff

There are usually tip-offs, though. You need to train your staff to watch for anomalies like these:

  • The terminal looks different – screws are missing, seals are damaged or a seal has been placed over an existing seal.

  • The terminal has been moved – that’s an indication that it has been swapped out.

  • The cables don’t look right – you always have cables running from the terminal, but now you have more or fewer than you had before.

Never, ever discount the potential for creativity when it comes to people coming into your business and tampering with your POS terminal. And also…

Never Assume That Your Staff Are On Your Side

It’s a sad thing, but sometimes, the worst POS terminal tamperers are your own staff. There can be reasons for this. If you don’t treat your staff well, they have no reason to care about your success. They may tamper themselves, or they may look the other way while tampering goes on. Happy employees won’t rip you off, so if you think you can’t trust your staff, seriously, look to yourself and think about why that might be happening.