Best Buy, Home Depot, Victoria's Secret, and other stores are tracking shoppers' returns dating back several years and, in some cases, punishing people who are suspected of abusing their return policies.
Many shoppers are unaware their returns are being tracked.
Home Depot engages in the practice to combat return fraud, which "is believed to be feeding the opioid epidemic," a Home Depot spokesman told Business Insider.
Sephora says only customers with "excessive returns" are targeted.
At least a dozen major retailers are discreetly tracking shoppers' returns and punishing people who are suspected of abusing their return policies.
Most of these companies have hired a third-party firm, called The Retail Equation, to mine their sales data and keep a database of customers' returns to flag potentially problematic shoppers. Customers who are flagged are often barred from making future returns.
Retailers say they use the service to combat return fraud. Some critics say its raises privacy concerns, however, and dozens of shoppers have complained online about being unfairly punished by the system.
Business Insider compiled a list of all the companies that use The Retail Equation, based on information from the companies as well as recent customer complaints on social media.
Here's the full list:
*If stores that track returns are missing from this list, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More from Business Insider:
Millennials have been accused of killing everything from napkins to beer — but here are the industries that started dying when baby boomers were their age
Dick's Sporting Goods' CEO just called out Under Armour's worst mistake
33 Sephora employees reveal the one product you should buy