• Retail return fraud is on the rise, and companies are watching closely as many consumers have until the end of January to send back unwanted holiday gifts.
  • Retailers expect 16.5%, or $24.5 billion worth, of holiday returns to be fraudulent this year, according to a survey by Appriss Retail and the National Retail Federation.
  • Tactics include people saying they never received certain items, returning a different item than they bought or sending back a stolen product.

As retailers tried to win shoppers and boost sales in recent years, they made their online return policies more lenient than ever.

But those changes have come at a cost.