That number is up from $3.4 billion in fraudulent holiday returns received last year, according to the Federation’s 2014 Fraud Return Study. The 60 retailers polled estimate that 5.5 percent of their total holiday returns are fraudulent.
“Today’s sophisticated technology does well keeping criminals at arm’s length but often isn’t enough to completely stop the unethical practices of organized and individual retail fraud occurrences,” Vice President of Loss Prevention Bob Moraca said in a news release. “Return fraud has become an unfortunate trend in retail, thanks to thieves taking advantage of retailers’ return policies to benefit from the cash or store credit they don’t deserve. Additionally, many of these return fraud instances are a direct result of larger, more experienced crime rings that continue to pose serious threats to retailers’ operations and their bottom lines.”
Of those retailers, the report indicated that 92.7 percent have experienced such fraud this year, while 78.2 report they have experienced fraud at the hands of “organized retail crime groups.”
The report shows an increase in fraud related to electronic receipts, which have risen in popularity this year, as well as an increase in the number of crimes related to the purchase and return of goods paid for through stolen payment methods, the release said.
To view the full report, see nrf.com.