Sentry Security Systems Inc.

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Video surveillance systems provide adequate security for many types of businesses but for retail stores, restaurants and grocery stores where cash registers or computer-based POS systems are used, video surveillance alone may not be enough. The reason for this is that cash register and POS devices introduce another element of possible theft or fraud that may not be easy to identify on a video recording.

Some of the most common ways a cash register/POS system can be used for theft or fraud are:

  • Short Rings: Goods are charged out (to an accomplice) at a much lower price than the correct one.
  • Sweetheart Deals: Similar to Short Rings but far lower quantities than actual, of one or more types of products are rung in.
  • Substitute Scanning: Scanning a tag of much lower value than the actual goods being sold.
  • Short Changing: Providing less change than is correct.
  • Voids: Voiding a sale after the customer has left.
  • Returns/Refunds: Refunding cash on a non-existent return.
  • Cancels: A transaction is partially rung in and if the customer does not ask for a receipt, is cancelled after the customer has left.
  • No Sale: the most common misuse of a cash register/POS system. A dishonest sales clerk using some of the methods above must remove the accumulated cash from the cash drawer before shift end. The most common way is to ring in a "No Sale" just before shift end and remove all the extra cash at one time. "No Sales" can also be used simply to take cash out of the till, without other forms of fraud being used.

One method of identifying these types of theft and fraud is called POS Text Insertion and is used in conjunction with a video surveillance system. This method involves writing the transaction data from the cash register/POS system to the video produced by the security camera watching that POS device.

POS Text Inserters are a hardware/software solution. A cable feed from the POS printer is connected to a port on the text insertion box and a coaxial input from the relevant security camera is also connected into the Text Inserter box. The text from the transaction printer is written onto the video from the security camera by the text insertion box and the video plus text is connected by coax cable into a video input port of the DVR system. Playback of the recorded video from that camera will show both the video and the associated transaction data.

Software is supplied with the text insertion equipment, so that a searchable database of transactions is created. This software will allow "exceptions" (to normal transactions) to be defined. "Exceptions" are any suspicious transaction and would normally include the type of transactions outlined above plus transactions of a dollar value below the normal limits for that business. By searching the transaction database for "exceptions" each suspicious transaction can then be examined, along with the accompanying video.

For retail stores, restaurants and bars, the addition of a POS Text Insertion System to a Digital Video Surveillance System will provide detection and prevention of most types of cash register theft and fraud. In many instances, the POS Text Insertion equipment will pay for itself in just a couple a months.

AVE VSI and VSI Pro Text Inserter

American Video Equipment's (AVE) Video Serial Interface products (VSI and VSI Pro) allow transaction data from cash registers, POS systems or a bank's automatic teller machine to be written and...

GeoVision™ Data Capture

In retail businesses, Point-of-Sale (POS) is an area that is often a considerable source of losses. Employees quickly become familiar with cash handling procedures and find ways to circumvent safeguards....

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