18 People Arrested In Return Fraud And Gift Card Sales Scheme

Last week, we explained how thieves can easily convert stolen merchandise into cash through shoplifted goods and gift card marketplaces. This week, a months-long investigation in Florida with the delightful name “Operation Plastic Paradise” came to a conclusion, with 18 people involved in the scheme arrested, and more arrests expected soon.

The scheme went down in typical fashion: the local sheriff’s department explained that items would be shoplifted or otherwise obtained dishonestly from big-box stores like Toys ‘R’ Us, Home Depot, or Target. This retailer’s return policy would allow only gift cards (which are really merchandise return cards) for returns without a receipt.

The twist to this plan was that there was a local store that serves as a gift card broker involved, rather an online gift card exchange. Four of the people who have been arrested so far were employees of this gift card store, and were charged with dealing in stolen property.

18 arrested in Florida for gift card and shoplifting scheme [Action News Jacksonville]

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