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3 behaviors others than overt stealing that are also retail fraud

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

The word “shoplifting” typically refers to people hiding items and leaving the store without paying or snatching them and running out of the store. In Michigan, the law regarding shoplifting calls the crime retail fraud.

Retail fraud actually refers to shoplifting and other ways that customers might deprive businesses of the value of their goods. What are three common forms of retail fraud?

Tag swapping

If a customer wants to buy a television, they might take the bar code for a cheaper, generic television and stick it over the bar code for the brand name device they actually buy. Although the company makes some money from the transaction, the changed price tag deprives the business of the item’s full value.

Self-checkout fraud

There are numerous ways for people to engage in retail fraud at self-scan checkouts. They might not take items out of their basket or cart to scan them, only scanning the cheaper items. They might punch in the produce code for a much cheaper fruit or vegetable than the one they actually bought. They might purchase multiples of the same item and only ring up one of them. Any of these activities could lead to retail fraud charges.

Hiding items inside other items

Some shoplifters will put a DVD inside their coat before they leave the store and won’t pay for anything. Others will buy one item and use it to conceal another, more expensive item. Someone might hide a few movies inside the box for a blender. They might sneak a pair of earrings into the toe of a pair of boots. They pay for some items but leave the store without paying for the most expensive ones.

Retail fraud charges can haunt you for years after a conviction in Michigan. Learning more about what might lead to retail fraud charges could help you if you find yourself facing charges.