When Christmas Brings Retailers Many Unhappy Returns

Now that the holiday shopping frenzy is almost over, merchants are bracing for a less-welcome wave of business: merchandise returns. But it’s not all those sweaters that never seem to fit right that are the big headache. Instead, post-Christmas marks the prime season for retail return fraud. According to a National Retail Federation survey, return fraud cost retailers an estimated $8.9 billion in 2012, with nearly 30 percent occurring during the holiday season alone. Overall, the survey shows that about 4.6 percent of holiday returns are fraudulent.

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