Should Friendly Fraud Be A Crime? Here Is What Americans Think

Would it be illegal to buy garments, wear them, and then return them for a refund? According to recent research, about 50% of Americans believe it is. Recent research of 2,000 adults examines their opinions on policy misuse and “friendly fraud,” which occurs when a customer asks their bank for a chargeback.

Are friendly fraud and policy abuse a crime?

The study reveals that 46% of Americans believe wardrobing, which is putting on clothes during an occasion and taking them back to get a full refund, is a punishable offence. Besides this, consumers use other shortcuts to cut costs, like setting up several emails to enjoy customer discounts and risk-free subscriptions. According to the study, 43% and 40% of respondents feel these are punishable infractions. Americans also say that serious crimes should include dining, dashing, and secretly recording someone. The study represents the growing awareness regarding online fraud. 

The poll also asked participants about policy abuse-friendly fraud, which 55% viewed as harmful to retailers and customers.

When asked about the semi-shady behaviours they’ve considered engaging in over the past year, 25% of respondents said they borrowed a colleague’s subscription to evade paying fees. Others have thought about opening additional email addresses to benefit from free trial memberships (25%) and revoking or challenging a transaction with their bank even though the merchant fulfilled their request (24%).

Friendly fraud damaging to retailers and loyal customers 

Some things people felt comfortable committing return abuse on included kitchen appliances and electronics like phones, clothes and home essentials. When asked if they’d be more likely to engage in friendly fraud in the event of an impending recession, 39% of respondents answered they would be, as opposed to 36% who indicated they wouldn’t and 25% who were neutral.

Most people indicated that it was not okay to defraud mom-and-pop(80%) compared to big chain retailers(90%). However, irrespective of how consumers see it, Forter products marketing director Oksana Balytsky says that friendly fraud is not right since it damages retailers and loyal customers. 

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