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Organized Retail Crime

Organized Retail Crime

Organized Retail Crime

Organized Retail Crime Unit

Woman Stealing Clothes From Store

What is Organized Retail Crime?

Organized retail crime (ORC) is a serious problem. ORC happens when a large, organized group of criminals steal from businesses and sell the items illegally. This theft costs Michigan $1 billion and the U.S. $45 billion!

To tackle this issue, our specialized Organized Retail Crime unit was created in January 2023. We received money in last year’s budget to make this unit happen. We also work closely with the Michigan State Police Force Team.

Here you’ll find important information and updates about how our team is fighting ORC.  Join us in our mission to combat ORC to protect the interests of businesses across Michigan.

Be Proactive

One of the biggest ways small businesses can help protect against theft, is to be proactive in looking for and stopping credit card skimmers and shimmers.


Devices that are added to card readers that enable thieves to steal card data


Small, thin chips that are installed inside the slot of a card reader

Estimated Theft

The FBI estimates these devices account for $1B in theft every year

Chipped Cards

Chipped cards are a bit safer than the traditional swipe, but are not foolproof

What Else You Can Do

Beware of scams

Beware of Scams

Stay up-to-date with the latest ORC scams:

  • Cash-Cash: criminal goes to the checkout counter with a live person and uses a fake card that when triggered clears the transaction or opens the register. The goal is to fool the cash register operator into thinking the criminal paid for a transaction when they didn't.
  • Check fraud: businesses are accepting fraudulent business or company checks. 
  • Fraudulent food-stamp cards: contain bogus encoded account information.
  • Fraudulent loans: criminals are taking out bogus loans, most commonly on car loans.
  • Rental equipment theft: criminals complete fraudulent rental applications for high-end devices and construction equipment. They never return the property and then resell it online to other people.


CCTV camera security system installed in a warehouse.

Install Cameras

Install surveillance cameras at eye level to capture what the person looks like.

Example of a safe and unsafe credit card device. The unsafe one has a skimmer in the device.

Inspect Credit Card Points

Look for:
  • Loose or damaged parts
  • Alignment issues between the card reader, chip reader, keypad and base
  • Skimmers may placed at an odd angle or cover existing stickers or arrows that are on the original device
  • Look inside the card to see if something appears to be inside
  • Gas station owners should watch for broken or tampered with security tape on the pumps
Close up man hand holding mobile. He taking photo of screen of digital device while sitting at table.

Take Photos of New Hardware

When installing new, or updating equipment, take photos of the new hardware, so you can compare the two at inspection.

man holding phone with police in street

Report Unauthorized Installations

If you spot anything installed that was not authorized, report it to your local police ASAP and pause transactions through those devices.

ATM Numeric Keyboard and Anti Skimming Anti Phising Card Reader Slit Cover with Green Blinking LED

Report ORC

  1. Contact local law enforcement.
  2. Call (517-285-5453) or email the Organized Retail Crime Unit at any time after the crime occurred.

    The report does not have to be done immediately. The ORC Unit will take the report at any point in time.