US: Organized retail crime still main issue for 88% of retailers in 2014 - report

Wednesday 28 May 2014 10:20 CET | News

In 2014, 88% of retailers have fallen victims to attacks caused by organized retail crime, according to a retail trade association survey issued by the National Retail Federation (NRF), reports.

The criminal attacks cost retailers around the country USD 30 billion a year, a problem that is still a major concern, according to the same survey which polled 76 senior retail loss prevention executives.

The activities relate to major criminal enterprises, consisting of “boosters” who partake in cargo theft, who convert the merchandise to cash or drugs. The deceptiveness and criminal techniques are also listed, such as methods using foil-lined shopping bags called booster-bags, selling store credit for cash, forged receipt, signal jammers and boxes, all aimed at undermining inventory control.

When asked if their company had been affected by organized retail crime in the last 12 months, retailers mentioned that during the past 4 consecutive years, retail crime has been high, reaching 94% in 2011, When compared to the 88% figure for 2014, there is a decrease in activity related to retail crime which is caused by an awareness among senior leaders and by selected state laws aimed at how ORC members are prosecuted.

Criminal organisations sell stolen goods either by using physical locations like flea markets, pawn shops or fictitious and temporary store locations, or through an online presence called eFencing. Retailers were able to identify up to 2/3 of stolen goods, or 68% of items, in these locations, according to the study.

In terms of policy returns, 76% of companies stated they had experienced credit fraud involving gift cards or store merchandise returns, down by only one unit from the previous year at 77%.

Over 1/3 of retailers have stated they were victims of cargo theft in 2013, more than half of which added the theft took place en route from the distribution store. Moreover, the percentage of retailers who claimed store-level cargo theft saw a dramatic increase, up 24% from 8% in 2012.

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Keywords: US, organised retail crime, boosters, polici returns, fraud, inventory control, victims
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime