In the past, the merchant has simply exchanged merchandise for an in-store voucher or certificate. Opened merchandise with original receipt may be exchanged for same item only.
But many of the more steeply discounted gift cards for sale online are in fact the product of merchandise return fraud, meaning consumers who purchase them unwittingly help thieves rob the stores that issued the cards.
This type of scam mainly impacts brick-and-mortar retailers that issue gift cards when consumers return merchandise at a store without presenting a receipt. Last week I heard from KrebsOnSecurity reader Lisa who recently went online to purchase a bunch of steeply discounted gift cards issued by pet supply chain Petco. Neither Raise nor Petco responded to requests for comment. But a look at the available Petco cards for sale via one gift card tracking site — giftcardgranny. The percentage off the face value also tends to be much lower — between 3 and 15 percent.
According to a study conducted jointly by KingRogers International and The Retail Equation , approximately nine percent of all returns in the United States are fraudulent. The National Retail Foundation estimates that the problem will cost U. Investigators say the crimes very often are tied to identity theft rings and drug addicts.
Last month, authorities in Michigan convicted a year-old father of four for running a large-scale fencing operation that used teams of prostitutes, heroin users, parolees and panhandlers to steal high-priced items from local Home Depot stores and then return the goods to a different Home Depot location in exchange for store debit cards.
Of course, another huge source card of gift card fraud are cards purchased with stolen credit cards. The carded gift cards very often wind up for sale online at steep percent discounts.
Earlier this year I saw part of this process in action at a Giant grocery store in Maryland. The man in front of me in line looked and smelled homeless. When the first card he swiped was declined, the man fished two more cards out of his wallet.
Each was similarly declined, but the man just shrugged and walked out of the store. Lisa admits she remains conflicted over whether she would buy another steeply discounted card to help feed her dogs. But she said retailers could help stem this type of fraud by tying merchandise return cards to the identity of the person who returned the merchandise in the first place.
This entry was posted on Thursday, December 10th, at 2: You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2. Both comments and pings are currently closed. The amounts of money being lost vs. The retailers set up impersonal experiences, with low importance and value attached to people in the stores. When stores are basically software run logistics systems, the only surprise is that more people are not doing this sort of thing.
I like to deal with people who own their business, or who work for an owner, not a hedge fund or gigantic corporation. In this case, a return is dealt with personally, and handled properly. What do these companies expect will happen?
I only go to places that deal with people fairly and refund their money. Real customers with a receipt would have received their cash back or reversed charges on their credit card. The only way a store can do a non receipt return for refund is if you pay with debit or credit card and they have a system in place where they can look up the original purchase from the card. You have minimum or just above minimum wage employees mostly under the age of 25 working at most of the big box retailers.
Service now ranges from merely indifferent to almost outwardly hostile toward the customer. I tried it last year. The gift cards I bought were not gift cards. They were merchandise return cards. They were advertised as gift cards. I emailed the company about the discrepancy but the last time I checked, they are still being sold as gift cards. Not only are these gift card resellers subsidizing criminals, they themselves are not always reputable.
I did a lot of research in deciding which gift card reseller to use. You would not believe some of the yelp reviews I read. All Aquatic Life are guaranteed to stay alive for 30 days from the day they arrive at your home or we will gladly refund your money. Freshwater fish purchased in-store can be returned with a receipt within 30 days for a full refund to original form of tender.
Please ensure the items you order are what you want before finalizing the order. If you experience a loss of your marine fish, freshwater fish, or invertebrates within 30 days of delivery please contact Customer Relations at Items purchased in-store can be returned with a receipt within 60 days for a full refund in the original form of tender.
Returns without a receipt but with valid identification after the 60 days, are eligible for a merchandise credit or an exchange equal to the lowest price at which the returned products were sold.
Exclusions to this policy include: These products require a valid Petco receipt for any exchange or merchandise credit. At Petco, we are committed to making sure you are satisfied with our services. Find a qualifying product. Make sure the product you would like to price match is identical to our competitor's product. Call to request a price match. No promotion code necessary.
Subtotal refers to amount of order before taxes and shipping. All Free Shipping is based on Standard Shipping rates. Boxes will result in a surcharge. This is based on your default shipping address. Repeat Delivery orders always ship free. The maximum number of products that can be compared is 4. Please refine your selection. Shop All Sale Offers. Reptile Reptile Guide Education Center.
Bird Bird Guide Education Center. Home Help Easy Returns. Personalized items and prescription food cannot be returned to a store. Return by mail Petco. B Cranbury, NJ At our discretion, a refund may be issued without requiring a return of the product.
Returning prescription food products Prescription food products cannot be returned to a Petco or Unleashed by Petco store.
B Cranbury, NJ A refund for the returned item will be issued once it has been received.
This merchandise return card can be redeemed for merchandise or services (other than gift cards and prepaid cards) at Target stores. This card cannot be redeemed on thrushop-06mq49hz.ga or for cash or credit (except where required by law). Utilizing gift cards for merchandise returns is fast becoming the preferred return process because it allows retailers to retain a greater percentage of their revenue from in-store sales. In the past, the merchant has simply exchanged merchandise for an in-store voucher or certificate. For online orders, your new Gift Card will be mailed to the billing addressed used to place your order. If you're returning merchandise purchased with a Gift Card to a store, you will be issued a merchandise return card (store credit).