My apologies if this has been suggested by me before, but an incident this weekend reminded me, so here it is:
First of all, don’t do this at a place where you like them and/or they like you. But if they’ve given you lousy service and then screwed up on their security procedures to boot…
Secondly, this isn’t criminal or even particularly rude, more like something that you might see on the old “Candid Camera” show.
So, do we all know what RFIDs are?
While they have a ton of uses, the most common one for most of us is “loss prevention control,” otherwise known as stopping shoplifting.
When you buy your stuff, the cashier and/or their checkout system is supposed to deactivate the RFID, kill it, turn it off. So when you leave the store – well, you leave the store.
BUT… If left active, it will be detected by the scanners near the door and the alarm will be activated as you leave, making a ton of noise. If you just shoplifted your large, economy size bottle of Head & Shoulders, presumably it’s at this point you take off running with your ill-gotten booty.
If you’re like me and you paid for it, you’re just annoyed because someone screwed up and now you’ve got these really loud and annoying alarms going off next to you. It’s enough to give you the vapors! Plus, everyone in the store (except for the employees) is staring at you and wondering what you stole. The employees, on the other hand, have this happen ALL DAY LONG so they simply ignore it.
So much for security.
Now imagine, you’ve just left your local grocery store, or better yet, department store or electronics emporium. You’ve dropped a couple hundred dollars (especially at the grocery store – damn, margarita mix and chips and chocolate is expensive!) on your cart full of stuff and as you leave, you get that loud noise scaring you out of your sneakers.
Here’s my suggestion.
When you get to your car with your shopping cart, go through your stuff and figure out where that still active RFID is. Remove it carefully so you accidentally don’t damage or deactivate it. Now find a good place on the shopping cart, an out of sight place, a place not normally examined casually, and stick the RFID there.
If it’s one of the big ones that’s about the size of a large postage stamp, this plan gets harder, but not impossible. With the little ones like the one shown above, the underside of just about any structural member or pipe will do. With the larger ones, you might have to be a bit more selective.
Either way, once the active RFID is now secure and hidden on the shopping cart, put the cart back into the cart corral. (Really, put it into the corral, don’t leave it out where it will block a parking space or roll off and ding someone’s car. We’re not animals here!)
Then you can sleep peacefully, knowing that every single time that cart goes in or out of that door, those alarms are going to go off. It could happen literally hundreds of times before anyone at the store bothers to go look for the RFID.
Carry on. Be mischievous!