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Organized Retail Crimes Cost U.S. Economy Nearly 47 Billion Dollars in 2018

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Organized retail crime cost the overall retail economy in the United States nearly 47 billion dollars in 2018.

According to the National Retail Foundations 2018 Organized Retail Crime Survey, nearly half of all retailers say Organized Retail Crime Gangs are getting more aggressive than in years past. Nearly 92 percent say they've been victims of ORC in the past 12 months, with nearly three-quarters saying they've seen an increase in ORC in the past year.

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As for combatting the crimes, almost six in ten say they will allocate additional resources to combat the crimes, with most looking to technology to do the job.


Designer Clothes
Laundry Detergent
Infant Formula
(Credit: Placer County Sheriff's Office)
Credit: Gillette
Designer Handbags
Credit: Thinkstock
High End Liquor
(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Teeth Whitening Strips
(credit: Sion Touhig/Getty Images)
Cell Phones

Fraudulent returns rank as the top Organized Retail Crime, according to the survey. To combat it, 38 percent of retailers made changes to their point-of-sale policies, 27 percent changes their return policy, and nearly 14 percent changed their trespass policy.

Top Return Frauds:

  • Return of shoplifted/stolen merchandise
  • Employee return fraud/collusion with external sources
  • Returns of merchandise purchased on fraudulent or stolen tender
  • Returns made by ORC groups
  • Wardrobing (return of used, non-defective merchandise)

Overall, retailers told NRF they expect more than 10 percent of their sales to be returned. Of those, eight percent will be fraudulent returns. For the holidays the number will jump. Approximately 11 percent of holiday purchases will be returned, with about 10 percent of those returns considered fraudulent.

Read the full National Retail Federation report here.

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