Get All Access for $5/mo

A Man Was Just Charged for Scamming Home Depot Out of $300,000 — And a Popular, Customer-Friendly Policy Made It Easy The scheme unfolded between June 2021 and June 2022 and spanned several stores in different states.

By Amanda Breen

Key Takeaways

  • Alexandre Henrique Costa-Mota received nearly $300,000 in Home Depot credit by returning doors he didn't buy.
  • He's been arraigned on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud.
  • Home Depot doesn't require receipts for returns.

"You can do it. We can help." One Connecticut man had his own interpretation of Home Depot's well-intentioned tagline.

Alexandre Henrique Costa-Mota, 26, of Hartford has been arraigned on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud after he scored nearly $300,000 in Home Depot credit with a fraudulent door-return scheme that spanned stores in several states, AP News reported.

Related: Man Accidentally Dyes Home Depot Logo on His Head, Goes Viral

Costa-Mota dressed as a contractor and walked in empty-handed, then put one door or several doors valued at hundreds of dollars onto a cart before heading to the service department and returning them without a receipt, prosecutors allege in court documents.

If Costa-Mota was denied a return at one store, he would take the doors without paying and return them to a different location; between June 2021 and June 2022, he racked up 370 fraudulent store credits worth $297,332, according to authorities.

Home Depot's return policy allowing customers to return purchases without a receipt helped Costa-Mota pull it off.

"We require a valid driver's license or government-issued photo identification for non-receipted returns and returns generated from purchases made with The Home Depot store credits," the company's website states. "The Home Depot uses a third-party refund verification system."

It appears Costa-Mota used his own ID just once before presenting multiple fraudulent licenses with other names, per court records.

Related: Woman Arrested for $60 Million USPS Counterfeit Postage Scam

Home Depot isn't the only big-box retailer with a generous return policy that puts customers first: Kohl's, J.C. Penney, and Walmart also accept purchases back without a receipt, according to NerdWallet.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.


This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.


Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.