Published: February 5, 2024
Reading time:  minute read
Written by: Forter Team

‘What the Fraud?,’ hosted by Doriel Abrahams, examines the latest trends in fraud – from expert interviews and insights to tactics and best practices.


In the latest episode of ‘What the Fraud?,’ Doriel tackles the costly issue of returns abuse for retailers. With insightful analysis, the episode delves into how returns abusers exploit policies for personal gain, costing retailers millions in lost revenue.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), businesses faced a staggering loss of $101 billion due to returns in 2023 – with fraudulent returns during the holiday season alone amassing $25 billion. Doriel explores retailers’ dual challenge: implementing stricter return policies to curb abuse while trying not to inadvertently affect genuine customers’ shopping experiences.

As retailers struggle to strike a balance between preventing return abuse and maintaining a positive customer experience, the episode also highlights the potential of utilizing technology to address the issue. By leveraging data like user behavior and purchasing history, retailers can create tailored experiences that differentiate between genuine customers and potential abusers. This approach aims to offer a frictionless return process for legitimate customers while simultaneously imposing restrictions on abusers. It underscores the importance of finding the right balance to protect from financial losses without compromising customer satisfaction.

Key Takeaways

  • Staggering Cost: Return abuse costs retailers $101 billion, according to NRF.
  • Policy Changes: Retailers are implementing stricter return policies and complicating the return process.
  • Impact on Customers: These measures can negatively affect the shopping experience for genuine customers.
  • Role of Technology: Utilizing user data to tailor experiences can help identify and restrict return abusers.
  • Striking a Balance: Essential to balance fraud prevention with maintaining a positive customer experience.

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Doriel Abrahams is the Principal Technologist at Forter, where he monitors emerging trends in the fight against fraudsters, including new fraud rings, attacker MOs, rising technologies, etc. His mission is to provide digital commerce leaders with the latest risk intel so they can adapt and get ahead of what’s to come.

Fraud Lab is a growing global community of fraud fighters where you can meet with peers and learn from experts. Fraud Lab aims to offer resources to help fraud fighters connect and further their careers. 

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