Professional Refunders Are Fraud Hitmen For Hire

If you don’t have the nerve to lie to online merchants about a package you “never received” – don’t worry. Friendly fraud hitmen are standing by to serve you.

For a small fee of course.

Professional refunders are setting up shop and offering to help you get your money back for orders you placed online, and received. They will contact the merchant after you receive the item, claim fraud, and get your money back for you. They’ll do the dirty work, so you don’t have too.

The fee for the service? Typically, anywhere from 15% to 40% of the total refunded amount.

Don’t want to pay for that new computer? No problem

The process to use a professional refunder is pretty simple and really doesn’t require the consumer to do much.

Here is how it works.

Their Expertise Is In Exploiting Merchants Refund Policies

Professional refunders are sprouting up everywhere because they can do 3 things really well.

First, they understand each retailer’s dollar limits and rules so they can selectively target each merchant with success (something that would take a lot of trial and error for a newbie).

Secondly, they know the dispute, chargeback, and refunding processes really well so they can help you find all the loopholes at each merchant.

And finally, they are really good at lying and they don’t have a problem with it. So essentially they can lie better than the average newbie trying to engage in friendly fraud.

Professional refunders have industrialized friendly fraud and made it accessible to people that would have never even considered it before.

There Are Scores of Refunders With Different Specialties

There are hundreds of refunders in the market today. A scroll through Telegram and Reddit reveals a large and growing group of them pitching their services.

Each of the refunders specializes in different types of merchant exploitation. Some will specialize in getting you free food on Instacart, while others focus on helping you exploit Amazon’s refund policies.

In about 15 minutes, I was able to locate all of these services, each with thousands of subscribers.

  • The Refund Brothers
  • The Refund General
  • The Refund Depot
  • Radiant Elite
  • The Refund Bar
  • The Refund Outlet
  • Smetona’s Refunds
  • Slitz Refunds
  • Refunders’s
  • RefunderPro
  • Refa’s Refund Service
  • Amazon and More Refund Service
  • Gamayayuns Refund Service
  • Exploit Refunding Group
  • Refund.wtf
  • Zippy Refunding
  • NX Services

NX services have been providing this service for the last 6 years and provide refunds for some of the largest retailers in the US.

Radiant’s Elite Refund Service focuses on the more expensive items and promises to help you “Grow Your Money Fast”

Slitz services provide their refund services for 20% of the face value of the refund they are able to get for you.

While most try to operate behind the scenes on Telegram channels, it’s surprising how many of these services even have an open internet presence engaging in shady activity in plain sight for everyone to see.

Sites like Refund.WTF provides links to its services and social media profiles right on the internet.

These Guys Are Experts in Merchants Policies and Rules

Successful refunders pride themselves on updating their own processes based on what’s working at various merchants.

Some like Exploit Refunds publishes hot list of merchants and the limits for these merchants on google sheets that they make available to their potential buyers.

Some Of These Services Get Buyers in Big Trouble By Filing False Police Reports

Many of these services will cross the line and potentially get buyers into big trouble however.

To support the claim of fraud with the merchants, some of the services will resort to filing false police reports in your name as documentation that fraud did indeed occur.

And others are just plain lazy. They will use old police reports case numbers and give those to the merchants.

In many states, filing false police reports is a serious crime. In California for example, it’s illegal to make a false police report of a crime. The report could be of a misdemeanor or a felony offense. False reporting is only a crime if the person making the report knows it to be false. The offense is punishable by up to 6 months in jail.

These Refunders Are Taking Advantage of the Pandemic

As it turns out, these refund services are kicking into high gear due to the Pandemic.

Brett Johnson has been tracking these professional refunders since 2014 when they emerged by exploiting Amazon’s progressive refund policies. Some people claimed to be making a good living at it – $120,000 a year or more by gaming the refund policies of Amazon alone.

But now, with merchants refund policies influx due to the pandemic, these services have increased their activity substantially. This appears the fraud of the moment for online retailers.

Merchants are doing everything in their power to ensure customers are happy. To this end, they’ve really amped up their customer service making it extremely easy to return items and get refunds when things don’t go right.

For one example just look to the big-box retailers. Many will issue refunds for clothing returns and won’t even require the items to be shipped back. They don’t want to deal with returned clothing that might contain traces of the virus.

As more merchants relax their refund policies, these refunders are finding the opportunity too good to pass up.

These Refunders Business Is Growing Because It Works

For every refunder I found, there were hundreds of satisfied customers lining up to vouch for them.

Customers are happy because they are receiving hundreds and thousands of dollars of free food compliments of Instacart. It seems Instacart is a new favorite for theses refunders because almost all of them promote it.

And other happy customers keep returning again, and again and again.

For Every Action, There Is An Equal And Opposite Reaction

I think these Profesional Refunder Hitmen are an example of what happens when fraud rules and policies are relaxed. Most of us in fraud have experienced this first-hand time after time.

When you relax a policy to give customers a better experience, fraudsters are the first to rush in and take advantage.

Fraud is a real balancing act. And for the moment anyway, that balance is way out of whack.

Thanks for reading and good luck stopping all the fraud out there.

Frank McKenna is the Chief Fraud Strategist for PointPredictive and a Fraud Consultant based in San Diego California