What is retail fraud? There are many times when a consumer has been short changed by a clerk and may think that the clerk is guilty of this crime, but each state has a specific legal definition that applies within that state. When a problem occurs between state lines, the federal government has its own definition as what constitutes retail fraud. Fortunately, a broad definition of the crime is possible. A lawyer can help readers understand the specifics relating a situation where a customer or a store suspects fraudulent activity.
Retail fraud usually applies to both the store’s employees and the managers. The state of Michigan’s web site states that a person is guilty of retail fraud if he changes the price of an item to buy the item at a cheaper price or changes the price to make certain customers pay a price higher than is marked.
Another common method of committing retail fraud is stealing from the store you work for. Employees that steal an item above a certain value may face misdemeanor charges and time in prison. Each state in the union sets its own value for misdemeanor and felony charges.
Who hasn't forgotten a receipt and found it annoying when a clerk will not bend the return policy of his store. The demand for a receipt serves an invaluable purpose. It makes sure the person who wants the refund actually bought the item from a store. A common retail fraud scheme involves claiming to have purchased an item from a store and misrepresenting its value to get more money back from a store than a consumer actually paid for the item. Inkjet printers, have, unfortunately, made this process much easier.
Most cases of retail fraud either involves extracting more money or a customer or trying to cheat a store out of money. Anything that an outside observer could construe as stealing from the store probably counts as retail fraud.