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Self-service checkouts are a common sight in supermarkets across the UK, as the time-saving system has proved popular with stores and customers alike. But the tills are not without their flaws, given shops often have to rely on their customers being honest about their purchases when using the machines.

Well, one woman who has not been using the checkouts as intended believed she was doing no wrong by employing a “trick” to save money when scanning her items. However, lawyers have issued advice warning shoppers that using the tactic is illegal, and as such trying it out can get you into serious trouble.

The problematic technique came to light after a woman wrote to ‘s Sisters In Law, asking for advice from lawyers Alison and Jillian Barrett.

She hoped they could help settle a disagreement between herself and her friend, who scans more expensive fruit and veg as cheaper options on self-service checkouts, insisting it is not stealing.

But the lawyers confirmed the shopper’s behaviour is “against the law,” no matter what she may believe.

Explaining her friend’s logic, the petitioner wrote: “She regularly puts through more expensive veg – such as avocados – as brown onions.

“She says it’s not stealing as you’re still paying for something and that the supermarkets work the cost of ‘self-check-out fraud’ into their prices.

“She also claims everyone does it.”

However, as the experts explained, the woman had intentionally acted deceitfully, making her actions illegal.

They went onto say that such tricks prove very expensive for supermarkets and shoppers in turn, as it leads to a rise in the price of products.

In Australia, where the lawyers are based, the act can carry a number of serious consequences. These include having to pay a fine, having to pay the correct price for the items and apologise to the store, or facing criminal charges if the person at fault does not comply or is a repeat offender.

In conclusion, they implored shoppers to ask themselves if saving money of avocados is worth the risk.