Consumer Alert: Gift returns this holiday season

It used to be easy to return a holiday gift, but retailers are getting tough on holiday returns this year.



Return fraud cost $2.2 billion last year, and the number is expected to rise again this year.



According to the National Retail Federation, there are four common return fraud problems stores face.



People returning stolen items sits at No. 1, and 91 percent of retailers say it's a problem. It's why many insist on receipts.



At No. 2 is the inside job. A lot of thieves have accomplices working in stores to falsify receipts or accept fraudulent returns. Seventy-seven percent of retailers say they've been victimized by their own employees.



Counterfeiters are next, and 75 percent of retailers say they have a problem with people buying with fake cash or returning fake goods.



Last but not least is wardrobing. This is where people buy clothing or jewelry for a special occasion, and then return it. Stores have gotten tougher on this, but 72 percent of retailers say they still get victimized.


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