Holiday season brings spike in defrauding of retailers

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 7:48 PM

(KMOV.com) – The holiday shopping season is a prime season for “return fraud.”

Return fraud is when criminals return stolen merchandise, use counterfeit receipts, or commit an act known as 'wardrobing.'

“It’s where people come in with the intention to rip off a company, basically take a dress, piece of electronic equipment, a video camera during Christmas week or something like that,” said Bill Smith of the Better Business Bureau. “They then put it back in the package and return it having used it saying it's broken or there's some kind of problem with it.”

New numbers from the National Retail Federation show retailers lose almost $9 billion a year because of retail fraud.

Nearly one third of all return fraud occurs during the holiday season.

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