With dozens of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Inc. physical stores closed during the pandemic, many of the retail chain’s shoppers opted to return online orders directly through shipping carriers rather than returning them to the store, says Keith Thompson, senior manager for fraud and investigations at outdoor gear and sporting goods merchants Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops.

The pandemic-induced surge in online orders created a domino effect on most other business operations, from fulfillment to customer service. And the same is true for Thompson’s fraud-prevention team of 15 members, plus the three on its fraud-investigation team, which is the fraud team for both brands. With more online orders came more returns, and with more returns came more refunds. Thus, more refunds brought more refund fraud for both of its brands.

Refund requests increase more than 20% at Bass Pro

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