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Retail Return Fraud Is on the Rise

By: Christina Vitale Email
By: Christina Vitale Email

The day after Christmas is always one of the busiest days for retail returns. Some folks were frustrated by the long lines and the entire process that comes with returning merchandise.

Raven Shrestha was dreading returning her gift.

"It's just crazy. If you have the receipt you have to have your I.D and have all this stuff together to make sure everything matches up. It's just a pain."

Many retailers are enforcing stricter guidelines due to the rising problem of return fraud, which cost retailers about $3.5 billion last year. The National Retail Federation says nearly 70 percent of companies changed their return policies to address return fraud. The newer more intense policies help many retail companies prevent scams.

Doreen Etienne, a retail company employee, said, "It stops people from returning things that they purchased a long time ago that we normally wouldn't return. If someone comes in we can see them and they can't just grab anything off of the shelves and try to return. It just cuts down on people stealing."

Some shoppers don't mind the extra steps as long as they get a quick return.

Gloria Whitaker said, "I mean, I am glad I have the receipt so there will be less of a hassle than if I didn't have it."

Having that receipt and proper identification could mean less time waiting in those long lines. The rise in return fraud has caused many large retailers to use new software that includes a return tracking feature.


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