Retail return fraud to decline this year

Beware naughty shoppers. Getting away with "wardrobing"- -- buying that special dress for the Christmas party and taking it back to the store after one wear -- could get tougher this year.

A survey released by the National Retail Foundation today says retailers expect such returns to be down 18% in 2009, while fraud involving counterfeit receipts are predicted to decline by from 45.7% to 43.1%. Only 6.4% of holiday returns are expected to be bogus this year, and overall there will be more than a 17% dip in retail fraud in 2009.

Yet, retailers are expected to lose $2.74-billion to fraud this year as compared to $3.32-billion last year. Joe LaRocca, senior asset protection adviser for the NRF, gives a shout-out to honest shoppers for the decline in numbers.