Stores refusing to accept returns to cut down on fraud

An attempt to stop fraud has some stores refusing to accept returns from certain shoppers.

A national database keeps a record of returns and flags people who do it too often.

“It’s not very fair, I mean, that’s their policy to take it back,” shopper Cheyenne Massey said.

Getting flagged while trying to make a return is something that Massey knows all about.

“They give you like six months to where you can’t return anything without a receipt again,” Massey said. She said she was trying to return something at Victoria’s Secret when she was told she wasn’t allowed.

“And they’re like, you must have returned something with this driver’s license within the last year, or sometimes it’s six months depends on the stores,” Massey said.

SEE ALSO: Woman gets full refund after returning dead Christmas tree to Costco in January 

When shoppers are forced to hand over their driver’s license before making a return that information is entered into a national online database that keeps tabs on all your returns.

“As a business man, I would expect that some people would abuse the privilege, so if I owned a store, I would track it,” shopper Craig said.

Officials with the Retail Equation wouldn't name clients, but they did state that 12 of the top 50 retailers in the country are subscribers.

The company's purpose is to curb return fraud, which accounts for about a $10 billion loss each year in the U.S.

SEE ALSO: LL Bean says no more unlimited returns

“If they’re not tracking this, if they aren’t tracking return fraud, then the cost is passed down to consumers,” Shannon Nelson, with the Better Business Bureau, said.

Action News Jax’s Danielle Avitable called around and found out that Best Buy, Sephora and Victoria’s Secret all keep track of how many times you return items at their stores.

“I think they should have some limits set on it,” shopper Kim Karshner said.

There are ways to find out if you have been flagged; usually, there will be a warning on your receipt, or you can go to The Retail Equation website to get a copy of your return activity report.

“You have to think about those things, now, because retailers are watching,” Nelson said.

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