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Home » Life in America, Shopping & Stuff » Hidden security tags in Old Navy jeans

Hidden security tags in Old Navy jeans

Posted on Sunday, January 22nd, 2006 at 6:41 pm CET

Yesterday when leaving the Praxis DIY store, their security alarm went off, so they asked me to empty my pockets, and take off my jacket, shoes and belt. But the thing kept beeping. After ten minutes of walking back and forth through the damn security gate and showing them over and over again that my pockets were all empty, they decided to let me go, probably thinking I swallowed a tool from their store or something. Back home I discovered a hidden sewn-in (!) security tag in my new Old Navy jeans.

The square 1.5″ tag with the text REMOVE BEFORE WASHING OR WEARING (see below) was hidden inside the jeans where I had never noticed it before, even though I had worn and washed the jeans several times since I bought them in December.

I have seen these RFID security chips before, but never hidden and sewn in a piece of fabric!! Who looks for that? I really think Old Navy should tell you about it, or at least put a sticker on the front that says something like “This item contains a hidden security tag, so don’t forget to cut it out before you set off lots of store alarms and totally embarrass the hell out of yourself.”

(Added 23 April 2008: Wow, I wrote this post over 2 years ago and it has received a lot of negative comments from Old Navy employees. Let me explain that I don’t mind that Old Navy uses these tags and that you have to remove them yourself. That is fine! I wrote this post because in the jeans that I bought the tag was hidden deep inside the pants and behind a flap of fabric that made it hard to find. That’s all. This may have changed in the meantime.)

Old Navy jeans security tag



Aug 25, 2009
7:58 pm
#1 Christina Barefoot wrote:

DANGER TAG My 1 1/2 year old son has been being seen for a burn/rash that he has woken up in pain with for 8 weeks. guess what it was the tag inside his old navy bathing suit. he would wear it every other week at day care, the opposite week the rash was getting better then the week he wore it the red burn and rash came back. I had no Idea until the end of this summer when I went to wash the suite and it happened to be turned inside out with a warning remove this tag sign. Well the tag is directly in the spot of my childs burn. This has awoken him in his sleep many nights and he would rub his leg. Even to touch his leg during the day my 1 1/2 year old says ouch boo boo! get real poeple get rid of the tags. my son is scarred and suffered severe pain. I don’t care who steels your stuff. safety comes first.

Oct 21, 2009
2:59 pm
#2 carlos wrote:

hahaha old navy sucks dick. Haven’t shopped there in years and this is one reason why.

HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE and just plain bad clothes.

Only time I’d ever go there again is to steal their stuff. lol

Nov 14, 2009
9:22 pm
#3 Jeff wrote:

Ah, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one setting off alarms. I set off alarms at Barnes & Noble multiple times and surprisingly, no one stopped me. I think people just ignore the alarms.

Dec 13, 2009
10:16 pm
#4 shoplifter wrote:

these tags are a shoplifters best friend. Why? Well if you have any clue you know what they are, and can EASILY be cut off, unlike the plastic things most stores use that are very hard to take off. All one needs is a knife or scissors and go to change room and WALA!

Dec 22, 2009
1:10 pm
#5 heather wrote:

i just wrote to old navy my child has had this rash/ burn for 4 weeks and counting and this is only after one day of use with the tag still on. this was the first time i ever shopped at old navy so i had no clue about this tag. Write old navy and complain . This is not about the cashiers this is about the company and the company should be the one who knows and gets complains about it. The company should be the one who changes it’s policy and tells it’s cashiers to inform people when paying for the clothes.
As for the cashiers or workers of old navy I do understand you are just doing your job please do not take what people are saying to heart. they are not taking about you personally! And i am sure that if they told you at training to tell people about the tags when paying for items you would do so.

I work at a daycare and often get complains about what we do but that is what we are trained to do. I tell them to go to the owner and complain. I am upset that old navy employees would call people dumb or lazy. When the nice and right this to do is give them the number or email to the companys’ customer service who are the people who handle the problems and i am sure that if all the people would go directly to the company and not its employees to complain something would be done about it.
kind like the carters tagless childrens clothes that casuse a rash! people complained to the right people and something was done about it and then parents were given the information.
you can find old navys customer service number on its website

Jan 28, 2010
7:59 am
#6 Sari wrote:

I have jeans from Old Navy. But I never take the tags off. Didn’t set off any alarm. I also have purse with that tag but I didn’t have that tagsoff also. I like to keep my stuff mint. I wonder why it haven’t set off alarms?

Apr 6, 2010
11:37 pm
#7 Patrick wrote:

I work at old navy and the towers go off ALL the time. Dont be embarrassed if the alarm goes off, it is usually employee error. Those security tags are almost always desensitised at check out, if not when you walk through security towers they sould not set off the alarm again. So im confused on how the jeans were making alarms go off after 8 weeks of you wearing them.

Apr 28, 2010
11:50 am
#8 Baxter wrote:

the whole thing’s a government conspiracy, dammit. the only reason theyre so hard to find is so you DONT remove them and THEY CAN FREAKING FIND YOU. or something. whatever…

Jul 25, 2010
2:04 pm
#9 kiki wrote:

Yes, that happend to me today and the lady asked if i was wearing gap or old navy clothing.. so when i got home i looked throughout my shorts and so i opened the tag and it looked like metal inside.

Jul 30, 2010
10:59 pm
#10 Lokeesha wrote:

In response to post #153 – if you paid cash for them and they do decide to track you – how would the gov’t distinguish you from someone else? It was a cash transaction. Yes they can track the jeans but they have no idea who bought them/is wearing them.

Jul 31, 2010
12:58 am
#11 AlexanderFreeman wrote:

Hey if anyone’s still reading this— do they still do that at Old Navy? I stole something twice and both times there were no alarms, but the second time loss prevention stopped me so I ran.. Do the alarms have a sound or is it in the back?? I looked at the shirt I actually bought that day and I couldn’t find a “REMOVE” anything on it. I stole three other shirts pretty much just like it too… Anyone know?

Sep 22, 2010
11:24 am
#12 Dan wrote:

Wow. I never check jeans or clothing when I get home for a hidden unknown security devices. I removed outside tags and stickers I can see. I must be one of those stupid people mentioned. Im an aerospace engineer; your an old navy employee. Im the stupid one for not knowing about hidden tags.


Feb 8, 2011
1:20 am
#13 shado wrote:

I work at Old Navy and u do not know how many people come there and steal. We had three women who came in and filled three of our shopping bags full of clothes and walked out recently. That’s like over 1500 dollars worth of clothes. this happens about 2-3 times a week. and it’s old navy policy not to chase after the theives. Now this is probably the reason why they stopped u. But i’m not accusing you of stealing and the old navy you went to shouldn’t have treated u that way. In our store if it’s not obvious that you stole we just let you go. our policy is to treat our customers like any other person would like to be treated. but like everything else not all stores are the same.

Feb 20, 2011
1:49 pm
#14 Gra wrote:

I have a sweatshirt from old navy and it has the same exact tag in it. Inside there is a clear jelly like material that exploded and got all over me.

Mar 7, 2011
2:02 am
#15 E wrote:

Where are these hidden tags located on the jeans?

Apr 24, 2011
12:33 am
#16 Employee wrote:


Are you people serious?

Just last week I found FIVE of these tags in with the toddler denim, which is-oh-about two feet by four feet. FIVE. Which means about $120.00 is gone. So the company lost out on that money. Which means less workers, and higher prices and more customers complaining about high prices and no help on the sales floor.

If I walked around the store informing every customer, that HEY LOOK HERE. Here is a hidden security tag to stop you from steeling, want me to cut it out for you? Then you can steal it! And I will get less hours, and get a low pay cheque. Wouldn’t that be AWESOME?

Get over it.

Apr 24, 2011
12:34 am
#17 Employee wrote:

ahem. Stealing, not steeling.

May 12, 2011
4:19 pm
#18 Mylissa wrote:

almost all of my old navy jeans have these in them and i never take them out till they annoy me. mine have never set off any store alarms, weird that yours did.

Aug 12, 2011
2:33 am
#19 nunya wrote:

I love it personally because if the alarm beeps when i walk in the store you better believe its gonna beep when i walk out too. That much easier to steal whatever i want! Thx Old Navy!

Aug 12, 2011
2:39 am
#20 nunya wrote:

RE:Employee wrote:–First stealing was spelt wrong now You spelt check wrong too! moron! Goes to show the requirements it takes to be loss prevention, not many. your a fag, “get over it”!

Aug 26, 2011
12:58 am
#21 K wrote:

I just found it on a pair of jeans I’ve worn for quite awhile, only because the tag had fallen apart and the broken chip was scratching my leg. I don’t see how they could expect people to actually read the tag as it’s not located in an obvious position. You wouldn’t even see it normally unless you were looking for it.

Oct 22, 2011
2:38 pm
#22 Heather wrote:

Thanks for the info about the hidden tags. Today I went to the mall with my family and I kept making the alarm go off. I was wearing old navy jeans that I got for my b’day and of course I wouldn’t look for some stupid tag in my pants. Once I read your post I cut of the tag and I hope I won’t get humiliated again, in front of heaps of people! Thank you.

Oct 25, 2011
5:06 am
#23 susan wrote:

What I am really worried about is what metal is inside these tags. Lead is extremely toxic to us and I wonder if there is any lead inside these tags. does anyone Know?

Nov 23, 2011
12:14 pm
#24 Totally Frustrated wrote:

My son had this same issue for the past 2 weeks. We had this problem in the post office, in Kohls and many other stores.. After a frustrating 2 weeks, I googled for this problem and found this post where people have been complaining for the past 5 years. …and surprise surprise..I looked inside my son’s Old Navy Jeans, and there it was…the stupid tag. Is Old Navy so stupid that it cannot learn for more than 5 years !

Dec 8, 2011
1:05 am
#25 sue wrote:

You fucking idiots….you didnt beep when you left old navy because it WAS deactivated…then YOU didnt follow the instriuctions to remove before wearing. Which means, as stated previously, at some point the tag re-activated. And then you dont understand how you are setting off alarms at other retailers????

Dec 9, 2011
1:39 pm
#26 sarah wrote:

My son is Autistic. Setting off alarms every where you go is a huge problem. Total distress. If you know anything about Autism, you know what I mean. Having a HIDDEN security device poses a problem. The customer doesn’t know about it and obviously wouldn’t search for it to be removed ( because they weren’t told the HIDDEN security device was there, duh ). So the customer and other shops are left to deal with alarm after alarm after alarm. With autistic people this would be consider mental distress !! I also agree, what type of metal are we dealing with ? They should get rid of these devices. Create more jobs by hiring changing room attendents. Changing room attendents can physically count your garments before entering the changing room and count again as you exit the changing room ). As this is the only area that goes with out cameras. Problem solved and ( as an Old Navy employee complained of job loss from theft ? ) you create more jobs with needing to fill the changing room attendent position. I don’t want to purchase items that have hidden metal devices inside and distress my autistic son. I won’t be shopping at Old Navy ( and yes I mean it ).

Dec 9, 2011
3:54 pm
#27 Drizzy wrote:

Thanks For All This Helpful Info.! Now Im Going To Old Navy For All My Needs 😉

Dec 24, 2011
8:57 pm
#28 rachael wrote:

wow, everyone here seems to work at old navy….point is, its happened to me so many times i forget. Its awful, embarrasing and every store wants to search you becuase you set off the alarm. Yeah, it must be our fault for not seeing the ‘hidden’ security tag? All you who think we should stop complaining, we are complaining because the tag is F*&^%% HIDDEN …. its hidden from the person who bought the item? How stupid is that. In which case to all of you 100 old navy reps who have bombarded this post, make sure you deactivate them please! Having the nerve to tell customers we are wrong becuase of loss prevention. I dont care about your loss prevention, do what you need to do, but embarrasing us at other stores, its not funny. And to those of you who dont care and think its no big deal, go shopping with a tag in and walk in and out of and apple store, then you tell me if its no big deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My F*&%% jeans have set me up!!!!!!!! everyone looks at you like a criminal, you are basically searched, its humiliating and awful.

Apr 1, 2012
1:01 am
#29 Retailsucks wrote:

i think customers that complain or post about something like this is stupid. First of all why would we put a sticker on the outside of merch that says please remove hidden sensor before wearing. This is supposed to be a theft deterrent duh! People get a life and stop harrassing old navy!

Jun 26, 2013
2:06 pm
#30 Kurt Nitsagen wrote:

This has been a durable and educational thread.
Let’s see what has been established.
Merchants use whatever methods might work, in order to combat shoplifting.
These methods include total disregard for the Bill of Rights.
These methods include total disrespect for the customer, the benefactor of the store.
Harrassing customers, far beyond sensible limits, is fair game in this arena of shame.
An alarm, of whatever kind, does NOT, absolutely NOT, ABSOLUTELY NOT
convey some sort of power on a busybody with a badge to detain, or even to touch
the person who perhaps caused the alarm to sound.
Some stores install a button which an employee can push to sound an alarm,
and the employee does that when instructed, in order to support harrassment
of someone whom the Loss Prevention Officer (not an officer, note) suspects.
If you do not believe this, you must have absolutely no idea where bears defecate.
IT IS YOUR RIGHT, and in the face of this awful harrassment, YOUR DUTY
to UTTERLY DEFY anybody to stop you if an alarm sounds when you depart a store.
If somebody touches you without your consent, or tries to detain you against your will,
it is your right, and I suggest your duty, to resist this assault and attempt to imprison
with utmost force, violence, noise, and enthusiasm, including use of any weapon you
legally carry, or any object you may find nearby with which to defend yourself.
Can I boil this down to 3 words? You bet I can. Here they come.

Jan 24, 2015
2:04 pm
#31 Kate wrote:

Just saying, people are saying shit like you have the time to write about this…. How lame…. Yet your writing on the same post! Some people are soo immature it makes me crack up. Sometimes people need to rant or share what bothers them… And if your going to say you have the time to write this… Why are you responding? Immature stupid people grow up its not like you own the store, it’s just another store who takes advantage of people’s money!

Jan 24, 2015
2:09 pm
#32 Lusie hynine wrote:

Old navy has lost my business.. I buy something at there store almost every time I go to the mall! And I’m happy to say I will no longer go there, this has happened to me one to many times and the 👆workers are damn rude!

May 4, 2016
8:37 pm
#33 Lewis shirt wrote:

This happened to me today in JC Penny and found this f***king tag hidden inside my Lewis shirt. This is so f***king ridiculous to hide it inside the shirt and make me embrassed at the stores. F***king dick heads.

Jul 8, 2017
1:19 am
#34 Bitcoin2DaMoon wrote:

Lokeesha, to respond to your comment #10, the government could still easily pinpoint any individual to which they had a means of tracking regardless of whether an item with such a device was paid with cash or not. They can simply plot your route and deduct who are based on where you live and sleep to everywhere else that you go. All things considered, I’m certainly not suggesting that is the case with these tags that simply seem to be some sort of magnetic strip in a pattern that can easily be deactivated upon checkout before leaving the store. On a side note, the only reason I even noticed this thread in the first place is because my wife bought some jeans off of the Internet from then and it got packaged and delivered to our house with the security tag still attatched. All things considered, it is one of those plastic clips that seem to be almost rivetted… Now that I just typed that out, that totally makes no since. Surely there isn’t a hole in the jeans. This thing absolutely has to be magnetic of some sort, right? Nevermind, seriously, thanks for all of your help though… I’m sitting here realizing that 2017 is over half way through and I am the first one to leave a comment at all this year and likely even the only one to for the rest of the year after seeing that only one person commented in 2016. Then there’s a big jump up to 2 people commented back in 2015. But what, not even a single comment from 2014. That averages to about one comment per year for the last what 3.5 years? Anyways, as I happened across this thread and began to read the comments, I just couldn’t stop. Best damn entertainment all day. Anyways, had to share my experience and 2 cents worth all things considered. Have a good year folks…

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