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Ex-Walmart Employee Sends New Warning to Shoppers

If you've seen this while checking out, you might have wondered what it means.

Shopping at Walmart allows you to find the items that you need, all at affordable prices. No matter what you're in the market for, this retailer offers a range of name-brand and generic products, selling everything from tomatoes to televisions. But an added perk of modern-day shopping at Walmart is the ability to go through self-checkout, meaning you can scan, bag, and pay for your shopping haul without having to wait in line for a cashier. When using this option, however, sometimes the process doesn't always go to plan. Read on to find out what a former Walmart employee warns you should pay attention to at self-checkout.

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Walmart regularly makes headlines with major changes and warnings.

Walmart store exterior. Walmart is an American multinational corporation that runs large discount stores and is the world's largest public corporation.

Walmart shoppers have been made aware of different changes and updates so far this year. Several Walmart stores are set to close permanently by the end of May, and other locations have already shut their doors in April. The retailer has also had to pull certain items from shelves due to recalls and safety concerns.

Recently, Lakeside Refrigerated Services issued a massive recall for some of its ground beef products due to potential E. coli O103 contamination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Safety Inspection Service. Organic Marketside zucchini was removed from stores in April after a voluntary recall by World Variety Produce, Inc. was issued. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the products were potentially contaminated with Salmonella. But while these widespread warnings are troubling, some are less serious.

If you get this alert at the self-checkout line, it's related to certain items you're purchasing.


If you've used self-checkout at Walmart and gotten a "call for help" message on the screen, there are a few things it could actually mean. As reported by The Sun, an ex-Walmart employee took to the social media app TikTok, where she is known by the username @obeygoddess, to explain why this happens when checking out. According to the former associate, the message most often pops up when customers are purchasing age-restricted products like alcohol, movies, and chemicals such as acetone.

In the event a customer looks underage, Walmart employees are required to check identification before an item can be scanned and purchased. "We constantly have cameras watching us and managers will see if we don't check an ID," the Tiktoker said. With that in mind, you shouldn't try to purchase something if you're not the minimum legal age to buy it.

If Walmart employees need to perform an age check, they are informed through their TC devices, which allow employees to see everything that each customer purchases at the self-checkout kiosks.

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You could also get a warning if something you've scanned has been recalled.

Grocery Store Self Checkout Grocery Shopping Mistakes

In addition to initiating age checks, warning messages keep certain safeguards in place by controlling the sale of recalled items, according to the former employee. So, if you've seen the "call for help" alert, one of the items in your cart could actually pose a health or safety risk. The TikToker also noted that when this alert appears, employees are required to scan their identification number or manually enter it to authorize the purchase in question.

According to Walmart's Product Recalls page, the company is "committed to the health and safety" of customers. "In the event of a product recall, we work swiftly to block the item from being sold and remove it from our stores and clubs," the page states.

There are other alerts at self-checkout, including a warning about missed scans.

walmart self-checkout scanner
lcatnews / Shutterstock

While you may have had a Walmart employee review your purchases and worried that the retailer was checking for theft, that is not necessarily the case, the former employee said. In a separate TikTok video, she explained there are other alerts, including one for a "potential missed scan." When this appears, Walmart associates are supposed to come to your kiosk, identify the mis-scanned item, and rescan it—no harm, no foul.

"This error happens quite a lot, just because the machines are very sensitive," she said, adding that sometimes items are simply scanned incorrectly and employees are not indicating that you are stealing.

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Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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