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eCommerce Returns Fraud

In this blog post we will look at how to recognize and prevent ecommerce return fraud.

By vijay kumarPublished about a year ago 4 min read
eCommerce Returns Fraud
Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash

From the convenience of shopping online to fast delivery, eCommerce has made life a lot easier for customers but it has also opened up new opportunities for fraud. One popular form of fraud that is becoming increasingly widespread is returns fraud – when criminals exploit generous returns policies as part of their criminal activity. This type of crime puts a major strain on ecommerce businesses and can significantly reduce profits if not adequately managed.

What is eCommerce returns fraud and how does it work?

eCommerce returns fraud is a type of online shopping scam where an individual purchases an item for delivery, but then deliberately manipulates the order to take advantage of lenient return policies. For instance, someone may buy a product and use it for a short period of time before requesting to return it. In some cases, the buyer may even attempt to return an item they never bought in the first place.

The motive behind eCommerce returns fraud is typically financial gain. Because of this, people who engage in fraudulent returns often target businesses with generous return policies or those that don't require a receipt to process them. This type of fraud can be difficult to detect, as perpetrators are usually careful to never provide the same information twice.

In addition to monetary gains, eCommerce returns fraud can also be used as a way of obtaining stolen goods. This often occurs when people buy items with stolen credit cards and then use a false identity to return them for store credit or cash. In some cases, criminals may even purchase low-cost items and then return them for more expensive items.

Ecommerce return fraud can be costly for businesses, resulting in lost merchandise and leading to chargebacks from the credit card company. To help prevent this type of fraud, businesses should verify the identity of customers before processing returns, and should also keep track of return activity for each customer. By taking these precautions, businesses can help to protect themselves from ecommerce return fraud.

The different types of eCommerce return fraud

Returns fraud is a type of fraud that occurs when a customer uses the return process to commit theft. There are several different types of return fraud, which can be classified based on the motives of the fraudster. Some common types of return fraud include “wardrobing,” “return shipping fraud,” and “reselling.”Wardrobing is when a customer purchases an item to wear it for a special event and then returns it once the event is over.

Return shipping fraud occurs when a customer claims to have not received an item that they ordered, to get a refund and keep the merchandise. Reselling is when a customer buys an item, uses it, and then returns it in order to get a refund and sell the item at a lower price.

While all three types of return fraud are similar, each has different motives that can help distinguish them. By understanding the different types of return fraud, businesses can be better prepared to detect and prevent it.

How to protect your business from eCommerce returns fraud

As the world of online shopping continues to grow, so does the risk of eCommerce returns fraud. Returns fraud occurs when a customer makes a false claim to receive a refund, and it can be costly for businesses both in terms of lost merchandise and chargebacks. Fortunately, there are steps that businesses can take to protect themselves.

One way to combat returns fraud is to require customers to provide a valid reason for return, such as a receipt or proof of purchase. Additionally, companies can track return patterns and investigate any suspicious activity.

Finally, it is important to have clear and concise return policies that are communicated to customers upfront. By taking these precautions, businesses can help reduce their exposure to eCommerce returns fraud.

Tips for reducing the risk of eCommerce returns fraud

merchandise. In eCommerce, the majority of returns are processed through what is called a “returns center.” These are warehouses where retailers receive, inspect and repackage returns before they are returned to stock.

Unfortunately, returns centers have become a popular target for thieves looking to commit fraud. Fraudsters will often attempt to return stolen goods or damaged merchandise in order to receive a refund. In other cases, they may try to return fake or counterfeit items.

One way to do this is by implementing security protocols such as ID checks and video surveillance. This can help to deter thieves and catch anyone who tries to commit fraud. Additionally, retailers should carefully inspect all returned items before processing a refund.

This inspection should include checking for signs of wear and tear, damage, or tampering. If anything seems suspicious, the item should be flagged for further investigation. By taking these precautions, retailers can help to reduce the risk of eCommerce returns fraud.


While there are many ways for businesses to combat eCommerce returns fraud, education and prevention remain the best methods for stopping this type of theft from happening in the first place. Businesses should make sure their employees know what constitutes return fraud and how to identify potential cases. They should also put measures in place to verify customer information when making a return before issuing any refunds.


About the Creator

vijay kumar

Motivated eCommerce specialist with a proven track record of success in analyzing and improving customer experience.implementing new digital marketing campaigns, and producing original content.

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