Beware of shopper fraud at the tail end of this holiday season.

Retail fraud remains a major issue for store owners, especially during the holiday season. During this time, shopping both online and in brick and mortar stores increases, with many searching for last-minute gifts or presents for the new year.

One of the biggest issues during the holiday season though is return fraud.

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF), latest return fraud survey, retailers estimate that 3.5 percent of their holiday returns this year will be fraudulent, a slight increase from the 3 percent reported last year. This type of fraud is expected to cost retailers $2.2 billion, another increase from the previous year’s $1.9 billion.

Retailers estimate that total annual returns will reach about $260.5 billion, or 8 percent of total retail sales with $9.1 billion worth of these returns expected to be fraudulent.

“Return fraud remains a critical issue for retailers with the impact spanning far and wide, in-store and online,” said NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention Bob Moraca. “…When it comes to retail fraud, retailers can build taller walls, but criminals continue to find taller ladders.”

The survey also found that:

  • Close to 80 percent of retailers have experienced the return of merchandise purchased on a fraudulent tender.
  • More retailers indicate a jump in the use of e-receipts to return items.
  • 9 in 10 retailers have experienced some form of stolen merchandise.
  • The return of used, non-defective merchandise sits at about 73 percent.

There are a few ways to prevent fraud from affecting your store. By using an efficient, reliable point of sale system, your business data and transactions can be checked with ease. It’s important to use a POS system that enables user-friendly decision making as well as vital merchandise cataloging and inventory capabilities.

To learn more, visit our website.