'Returnaholics' cost retailers billions of dollars a year


If you've noticed that returning items to stores isn't as easy as it used to be, rest assured: It isn't just you. Thanks to a growing number of people who are returning items they've used or never bought in the first place, retailers have been employing a variety of new techniques to stop so-called "returnaholics" and others from abusing the return process.

Last year, return fraud cost the retail industry an estimated $10 billion to $15 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. In fact, return fraud has become such a problem that it has sparked an industry-wide crackdown. Stores are using databases to identify serial returners.