Question

How does the Nordstrom return policy scam work?

Okay, let me first make it very clear that I in NO way intend to use this scam. In fact, my girlfriend works for Nordstrom and we are both trying to figure out how this scam works because people have tried to do it to her several times.

So far what we understand is this much: People use store gift certificates to purchase really expensive clothing that they don't ever intend to wear. Then they send friends back in to the store to return the merchandise for cash. Thus turning gift credit into cash. These customers are really easy to spot because when they come in because they display the following characteristics: they look underdressed for the department in which they are shopping, they go straight for the most expensive items and then purchase them without even trying them on.

My question: How do they obtain the gift credit in the first place? I understand that the store's liberal return policy effectively renders any department into a kind of ATM, whereby credit is converted into cash by returning clothing. But there's just no reason to do so unless the gift certificate is purchased by fraudulent means (i.e. a bad credit card or something like that). Am I missing something? Can someone explain this to me?

4 years ago - 3 answers

Best Answer

Chosen by Asker

It's true, that sometimes employees can be involved. I worked for Nordstrom for 6 yrs..We had one employee who was putting cash value onto gift cards, and hiding them in the register until the end of the night, then she would take them out, and head over to the rack to purchase things..she obtained about 3000 dollars doing that. Another is stolen credit cards, either an employee..or a random person will steal a credit card, and purchase a gift card, and since Nordstrom really doesn't check id's too often..(I always did..tell your friend to do it more too, you wouldn't believe the amount of people she will catch) it's pretty easy to get away with, and they will send their friends back to obtain the cash just in case Nordstrom was watching the first time, and they most likely have that person on camera. People just obtain a credit card number/stolen credit card.., and order, or purchase a gift card..I was helping a women once who was a tourist, a couple of young girls stole her wallet from under her nose, and went and spent 800 dollars in the next department in a matter of 5 min...Tell your friend to talk to the people in loss prevention..I was always friends with them, and they told me pretty much how everything works..what and where it was happening.

4 years ago

Other Answers

From what I've heard it's because people can return items even if they've already worn them, Maybe people are just buying the products cheaper in another place and returning them at nordstroms?

by T <3 - 4 years ago

I worked for a dept store in the UK and over 25% of theft was traced to employees, so there are probably staff stealing a gift certificate here and there so it doesnt look suspicious, then these are used to buy expensive items then return them. Nobody is going to notice one gift certificate missing out of the till until they do their counting at month-end, and by then there would have been at least 20 people using that till so it would be difficult to find who was stealing the gift certificates

by Ghana Banana - 4 years ago