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Retailers Fight Theft Rings That Steal and Resell Goods Online

When finding deals online at a lower cost than in-store, it could mean eCommerce sellers are peddling stolen goods, according to a Thursday (Sept. 2) report in The Wall Street Journal.

Dubbed organized retail theft, the practice involves stealing goods from brick-and-mortar stores in bulk and selling items online. According to the article, large-scale shoplifting rings account for about $45 billion in annual losses for stores, a 50% increase from 10 years ago.

Large retail chains, including CVS, Home Depot and Target, have seen increases in organized retail theft, and have in turn beefed up their shoplifting prevention teams, according to WSJ. Further complicating the matter, according to officials, is that thieves can sell items online — specifically on eCommerce giant Amazon — easily and anonymously.

In response to the uptick in online selling of stolen merchandise, merchants have pushed Congress to adopt legislation requiring online retailers to verify details for its sellers and share some information publicly. Amazon and eBay oppose the bill and view it as an invasion of the seller’s privacy, according to the report.

Related news: New Study: Almost Half of Consumers ‘Very’ Or ‘Extremely’ Concerned With Putting Personal Information Online

In an era of near-constant cyberattacks and identity theft concerns, safeguarding individuals’ private information is key. According to a recent PYMNTS survey of roughly 2,260 U.S. consumers, the security of personally identifiable information (PII) is important to 94 percent of respondents, while four out of 10 are now more worried about retailers’ data security practices than they were a year ago. Of those polled, 11 percent worry that fraudsters will steal their personal information to open new accounts in their names, while 12 percent are concerned that someone would steal their money.

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