Retailers are reeling as they discover that returns are coming back, not with the product purchased, but with bricks and other weighty filler. The numbers amount to $100 Billion in merchandise in 2023 was fraudulent in some major way or another. The estimates are that 17% of returns involve something big, and worse yet, many of the staffers at the return desks are not equipped properly to evaluate. Worse, are thoughts that employees may have low interest in supporting proper returns due to seasonal employment, or low company morale. Another factor is that organized crime groups are getting in on taking advantage of the process which involves fast refunds, but slow evaluations of the returned product.
More than $100 billion in merchandise was returned fraudulently in the U.S. in 2023, retailers say, up sharply since 2020