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Local couple shares experience to protect others from retail fraud

Take an extra look at the items you're buying! One local couple fell victim to retail fraud.

Posted: Jun 20, 2018 7:54 PM
Updated: Jun 20, 2018 10:30 PM

Edgar County, Ill. (WTHI) - Imagine shelling out good money for a brand new Blu-ray player, opening up the box when you get home, and inside is *not* what you paid for. That's exactly what happened to the Perisho's.

News 10 spoke with Rachel Perisho. She says the electronics swap wasn't obvious at first.

Rachel says, "When he opened it up, he realized there wasn't a remote or paperwork or anything in it. He went back to the store and when they opened it up they realized it wasn't even the same brand."

Inside the Samsung Blu-ray player box was a Magnavox DVD player. The Perisho’s were victims of retail fraud.

It's suspected the scammer opened the package from the bottom, leaving the top seal in-tact. This made the item appear brand new.

Rachel shares, "Maybe they were new and hadn't been trained, I don't know. But I think the general practice is they open it up whether it's new or not to make sure it's the right, you know, it's the matching parts."

After talking with Rachel, she says some of her friends have come across even more bizarre situations with fraudulent items at the store.

Rachel recalls, "They had bought a TV and when they were getting ready to check out, they found out the box was full of rocks or something. Because somebody else had returned a box full of rocks instead of a large TV."

Perisho says another friend bought what they thought was a brand new tent. After removing it from the package, it already smelt like a campfire, hinting that it had already been used.

Luckily in this case, the Perisho's easily got an exchange for the right item.

Rachel says, "They returned it for us. But, my concern was if we were in a bigger city, that people wouldn't know who we were, they would've assumed we did it and we were just trying to get our money back. And then, we would've been out $100 dollars for the Blu-ray player."

After this experience, Perisho says she's a little skeptical about her future purchases.

She says, "As far as getting a DVD or something, am I going to open it up and have it be something completely unexpected or not what I had wanted? So yeah, it makes me a little bit leery."

News 10 spoke with a representative from the Federal Trade Commission.

He says your best options to protect yourself are:
-To check the package thoroughly before you buy something
-Always keep your receipt
-Return the fraud item to the store as soon as you find out there's a problem

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