Scoundrels, Scams And Fraud; Prevent Return Fraud With Alpha Shark Tags
Scams, they are all over the place. I think every week I have some generous benefactor that wants to leave a million dollars to me deposited in my bank account. AWESOME! One day I’m going remember not to delete one of these emails and get back to them. A few weeks ago I got a call from the “IRS” telling me I was going to be in trouble if I didn’t pay some amount to them for taxes owed, unfortunately I accidentally hung up and we were disconnected. Hopefully they get back to me I don’t want to owe Uncle Sam any money! Someone every so often tries to call the library I work at and get information so they can bill us for “toner” orders for our printers…I guess they don’t know we have a list of vendors we make payments to for such purchases, they need to get with their supervisors on that. Recently one of the managers on duty at the store I work at received a call from someone who said he was from our company’s HQ. He gave his name and told the MOD he needed his name and employee number because we were going to be receiving a shipment of a new product and were going to start selling it but in a new twist we were only going to permit payments for the new product with gift cards. WOW! when the manager told me I was excited. We don’t even carry that manufacturer’s products because they happen to be very proprietary. Unfortunately when the manager told the caller he would call him back with the requested information and asked for a call back number our MOD was disconnected. I was so disappointed. We are very careful about protecting personal and business information to prevent fraud from affecting our personal lives and our businesses so why don’t we take the same precautions to prevent return fraud in stores? In many cases it could easily be done if stores would use Alpha Shark Tags on softlines products.
I get returns every day, how can I know return fraud from a legitimate return? How can Alpha Shark Tags help stop people trying to do fraudulent returns in my store? I will address the second question first. Shark Tags are brightly colored tags that once pinned to an item can only be removed when the tag is cut off. It prevents a customer from buying an item and wearing it then returning it with all the necessary documentation in order to get a full refund. Who wants to go out in public with a bright red tag hanging from a pant leg or from the cuff of a blouse? All the store manager has to do is require the tag to be attached and intact on the merchandise before taking it back with the proper documentation.
Back to the first question on how to identify return fraud. This can be difficult. One of the ways that dishonest people get fraudulent refunds is to switch the price tags from high priced clothing lines and place them on cheaper brands and return the clothes with a receipt that matches the products. For example, if someone took an Under Armor T-shirt price tag, attaches it to a Hanes t-shirt and then they return the Hanes T-shirt they receive the dollar value of the Under Armor shirt perhaps as a credit on their credit card or debit card OR it is returned on a gift card. This can be prevented but requires the cashier to be attentive to what they are doing but these shysters can be clever and will distract the employee with constant talking.
Another method of return fraud is done by the scoundrel who is wardrobing. This is the person who buys an outfit and wears it on a date or to a party. They return it a day or two later to the store where they bought it. This can be difficult to detect because often the tags are reattached with tagging guns. I saw several regular customers engage in this in the department store where I first worked as a Loss Prevention Associate. These customers were known to have money, but practiced this activity anyways (maybe this is why they had money). Unless a clear stain could be found, the majority of the time the manager would process the return. This is the situation where using the Alpha Shark Tag could be most effective.
Return Fraud can be a major source of profit loss. Reduce the chances of being taken advantage of by these characters. Use Alpha Shark Tags on your merchandise and improve your return process and your profits!
Return Fraud is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.