Refund Fraud : What it is and How to Protect Your Business ?

Fraud can take place in any form and even in a friendly way, like refund fraud. It is a problem that most online retail stores face daily. You are mistaken if you think your company is immune. Despite all the efforts, it is inevitable. Read on to learn how it works and how to protect your business.

What is Refund Fraud ?

Refund fraud involves customers seeking reimbursement for a product or service without a valid reason, often by supplying false information. This deceptive practice has various forms, including returning used or non-purchased items and exploiting loopholes in return policies. Perpetrators may also fabricate receipts to obtain refunds illegitimately.

It is a challenge today for many thriving businesses. As a business, you should know the various tactics employed by these fraudsters to tackle them.

Different Ways Refund Fraud Occurs

A December 2023 report revealed a surge in the online return rate, reaching 14.5%. This marked a substantial rise from Deloitte’s 2022 report, indicating a 10 % increase in online returns. Detecting refund fraud has become progressively challenging for various reasons. As a result, it has given room for shoppers to deceive online businesses. There are online guides for individuals on how to maximize refunds from e-commerce stores.

Many businesses refrain from closely scrutinizing customers to prevent potential backlash. If the business asks too many questions, it can affect its reputation. As a result, many shoppers can avoid the inspection process, which leaves room for refund fraud. It is true that customers have legitimate reasons to return items, but some take advantage of it.

These are some of the forms refund fraud can take:

Free Renting : It usually happens in clothing stores where customers return the items after using them once.

Sabotaging Seller : This type of fraud is committed by competing businesses. They place orders for items and return them later. The intention is to exhaust the business’s inventory; sometimes, the returned items are counterfeits.

Seizing Opportunity : In some cases, the customer may not have the intention to defraud. However, they saw an opportunity and took it. It can happen if the customer changes their mind about buying an item or when they get a late delivery.

Deliberate Fraud : Some people actively commit refund fraud on several businesses. They usually operate different accounts and then refund an empty package only to resell the items elsewhere.

How Can You Protect Your Business ?

As already mentioned, refund fraud is quite difficult to detect. You can protect your business by getting more information from customers. For instance, have them provide their ID and contact information during purchase. It is also best to get their credit information instead of receiving cash. You can enlist the support of a capable team to perform a fraud risk assessment for your business. SisID helps businesses conduct audits on businesses to identify risk areas. Every business needs a fraud risk assessment to boost its security process. If you use a professional system to monitor fraud risk, it will help mitigate the risk of return fraud.