Holiday Return Fraud Expected To Cost Retailers $2.2 Billion In 2015

RALEIGH–“It is happening nationwide, at all retailers and it continues to happen each and every year,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, the President and CEO at Better Business Bureau–Eastern North Carolina.

As millions of people around the country return unwanted holiday presents, large retail stores are fighting criminals and fraud.

In a recent survey, the National Retail Federation found that US retailers estimate 3.5 percent of their holiday returns this year will be fraudulent, which is an increase from last year.

Experts say its ultimately consumers who pay the price for retailer’s lost revenue, in the form of higher prices.

“It’s dishonest, it’s theft. So yeah, I would certainly agree that a small percentage is ruining is ruining it for the rest of us,” said Raleigh resident Jonathan Limbouris.

The Better Business Bureau of Raleigh says fake electronic receipts are on the rise.

“I think e-receipts is something that will continue to see an increase in scams. But that does not mean that it’s not happening in person, it certainly is,” said Wojciechowski.

The President of North Carolina’s Retail Merchants Association Andy Ellen, says the Carolina Organized Retail Crime Alliance or CORCA, is also focusing their efforts on these types of crime.

“This organized retail crime again is not somebody stealing a pair of sunglasses or one item. Instead its organized groups and they’re often times stealing these items to re-package or to send overseas to profit in someway or they’re using it to pump up the drug trade,” said North Carolina Retail Merchants Association President Andy Ellen.

And Ellen is confident their efforts could change that.

The complete NRF report on retail fraud can be found here.

Article by: Dennis Biviano
Date Published: December 29, 2015