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Retail, online shopping, auction and advance fee fraud

In this step, we look at further types of fraud, Retail, online shopping, auction and advance fee fraud.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

Retail fraud

Retail fraud comprises a number of offences that can be described as using ‘trickery’ instead of conventional stealing to obtain goods. ​

Methods used by retail fraud criminals:​

  • Going into shops with fake or copied receipts in order to try and get some kind of cash or voucher return
  • Changing the labels on goods​
  • Gift card scams where the details of a voucher are quickly copied before the purchase can take place and are then used frequently to make online purchases ​
  • Confusing the cashier by asking for different change or swapping banknotes ​
  • Criminals filling up their vehicles with petrol with no means of payment but will provide false details or identity documents as security with a promise to return ​

Online shopping and auctions fraud

The victim communicates with the fraud criminal either through a legitimate or a fake platform/website​. This usually results in one or more of the following outcomes:

  • The victim pays for goods that are never received ​
  • The victim’s financial information is compromised and used by the fraudster to commit other offences​
  • The victim receives goods of inferior quality to those advertised on the platform​

Advance fee fraud

Advance fee fraud is when criminals target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise. ​There are many different types of this type of fraud such as lottery and inheritance scams.

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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