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Friday, November 10, 2006

Organized Crime Bar Code Scams & Money Laundering

Bar Code Scams are increasingly pointing towards the need for new technology to take over.  Last year a man was arrested after authorities had learned that he had stolen over $600,000 in Legos from Target and other stores over a three year period.

He didn't use the ploy of grabbing an item off the shelf and taking it to the returns desk to request a refund like a member of the Bush Team did not so long ago.

No instead he simply slapped a new barcode on the item and paid for it.  The new barcode triggered a much lower price to ring up and he would later sell the item on Ebay and make a fortune.  Picture the thief slapping a sticker with a bar code over top the old barcode and instead of paying $100 for an item, paying $19.99.

These scams are getting worse as organized crime is getting involved deploying teams of individuals to retailers.  Instead of the same person providing the sticker, buying it and selling it.

One person places the sticker.  A different person purchases the product and they then take the product to an organize unit that consolidates products and sells them online.

Not only are they robbing the retailer, but they are likely involved in Money Laundering of cash and possibly even using stolen identities to fund the purchase in the first place.