9 Billion Dollars Lost to Return Fraud Every Year

December 14th, 2012

Wow, the National Retail Federation reported that 9 billion dollars are lost to return fraud every year by retailers.  What is return fraud?  According to a recent article in the online version of USA Today, return fraud is defined as “a crime where people exchange stolen goods for cash, use counterfeit receipts or bring back items that have already been worn or used.”

That is a lot of money to lose and it explains why retailers are concerned about their return policies.

Some of the fraud is perpetrated by customers and some by employees.  Documenting these crimes for prosecution is the role of a good video security system.  Cameras at point-of-sale registers can capture return fraud crimes in action and the video can be used in the prosecution of the perpetrators.

The key to using the video surveillance system to capture the evidence is to use the correct cameras with the right lenses and to have them focused on the view needed to maximize the capture of the evidence.  As an example, a camera looking out over the store from behind the register clerk will not capture the evidence needed in a return fraud case involving the use of counterfeit store receipts.

Criminals are early adopters of technology so this type of fraud will continue.  The correct application of security technology can help catch these criminals in action.

Email me at scotth@remote-protection if you have any questions or feedback.

-Scott Hightower, Verified Security