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Fighting Retail Crime in the Carolinas

Shoplifting has always been a constant problem for retail stores. Over the years, however, some shoplifting has grown into an issue that can cost retailers billions of dollars. Organized retail crime (ORC) is significant for its negative economic impact, the safety issues it brings to unsuspecting consumers, and its potential link to other criminal enterprises such as distribution of narcotics, money laundering and supporting overseas operations.

“Organized retail crime costs the retail industry nearly $30 billion annually in the United States,” said NCRMA President Andy Ellen. “These losses drive up costs for retailers which then get passed along to consumers.”

Also, return fraud and identity theft/credit card fraud are both prevalent in Organized Retail Crime (ORC) of which many are unaware. This costs the retail industry tremendous losses, victimizes the customer, and results in higher pricing for all.

According to a National Retail Federation retailer survey, retailers lost an average of $700,259 per $1 billion in annual sales due to ORC activity. These losses dramatically impact business and drive up costs for retailers and, in turn, the prices for consumers.

Consumers are also finding themselves falling victim to fraudulent retailers online. Be aware that there are some common red flags that should give you pause when making online purchases:

  • It’s cliché, but: If a price seems too good to be true, chances are, it is
  • spelling mistakes and grammatical errors on the online store’s site,
  • online stores using a web-based email like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo under their contact details as opposed to a company email account
  • online merchants asking you to email them your credit card information
  • overuse of words like “genuine,” “real,” or “authentic”
  • use of the phrase “inspired by” to get away with selling a fake
  • Also, check the product manufacturer’s website. Many companies will post details on their websites to alert customers about possible counterfeit products and how to detect fakes.

And if you are buying medicine from an online pharmacy, be sure to visit: before making your final purchase to make sure the provider is legitimate.

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