Man, 26, charged over refund rip-offs

A MUDJIMBA man has taken price comparison to a whole new level, allegedly ripping off retailers dozens of times along the way.

The 26-year-old has been charged with 87 counts of fraud over the elaborate refund scam.

The man allegedly bought items from different businesses between the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast from February to July this year, before obtaining refunds on the items at a higher price at an opposition store.

Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Senior Sergeant Daren Edwards described the money- making scheme as "bizarre".

Police were aware of the man's activities and on Wednesday he voluntarily attended Maroochydore Police Station, where he was interviewed and made full admissions to police.

He appeared in court the same day and his matter was adjourned to a later date this year.

"Retailers generally want a receipt, but they don't seem to have challenged it in this case," Det Snr Sgt Edwards said.

"Homewares, clothing, blankets, all sorts of things were bought and refunded."

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said stores were not obliged to give a refund without a receipt.

"Retailers need to be looking very closely at what information their customers are producing when asking for a refund," he said.

"If someone is knocking off stock or putting the company out of pocket, it's the consumers who eventually pay.

"It seems to be time on the Coast that retailers get their staff up to date.

"Retailers should never give any money back unless there is some kind of proof of purchase or there is a genuine fault in the product."


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