potential return fraud

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potential return fraud

i have a customer who returns items on a normal basis. sometimes what he returns is the right item, and sometimes what he returns is a broken item OR an item that is similar in looks, but different on the inside. If my return staff does not catch it, he walks out with the refund money and a working product. he mainly does this to electronics. Is there any way that I can sue him or press criminal charges? Thanks for your help

Asked on May 5, 2009 under Criminal Law, South Carolina

Answers:

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am a laywer practicing in CT, not SC, but have clients with similar concerns.  It sounds like you have a real problem on your hands.  I would look in to who the employee is that is accepting the return to rule out the possibility that its not an inside job.  I am not sure if you have a video camera or have some way of identifying the people that return items that you can then track.  If you can do this, then you certainly have the ability to catch this guy and presecute him for theft/fraud and ban him from the store. I would try to catch him.  If you can get the person's identity by asking customers their address when they do returns you can then trck him down after the fact so there is no commotion in the store.  Just by you taking names and addresses of people that make returns may deter his conduct.  At the end of the day, you certainly can press charges.


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