A user defrauded Amazon of a whopping €330,000 by manipulating the proceeds. Instead of iPhones and other ordered devices, send parcels from the ground to the ordering company by mail. Keep smartphones and get cash back on purchases. This theft is made possible through Amazon’s standardized returns process.
Millions of people order from Amazon every day. Many of them send their goods for a variety of reasons. So the mail order company cannot open every returned package and inspect the goods. Instead, Amazon introduced a standardized procedure that the retailer uses to process returns. And it is precisely this technique that is exploited from time to time, in one case largely.
Amazon Return: Weight Instead of Check
If Amazon receives a return, the online retailer will check and weigh it. If this matches the specified content, the package ends up in a repository where it awaits resale or destruction later. Meanwhile, Amazon has begun to reverse the purchase. In most cases, this means returning the money for the order to the customer.
Due to the large number of returns, the employee cannot manually check all packages sent to Amazon. Such a test is usually only performed if abnormalities occur. A customer from Spain took advantage of this fact in 2019 and grabbed Amazon on a massive scale.
Scam: keep the goods and get your money back
The 22-year-old Spaniard, along with a partner, has repeatedly ordered iPhones and other electronic products from Amazon. He accurately weighed the packages that arrived and noted the weight. After unpacking the packages and taking out the equipment, fill the boxes with an amount of dust equal to the weight of the original shipment. He sent the tampered package to Amazon as a return.
What followed was standard procedure: Amazon recorded the return, weighed it, and returned the money to the customer for the returned merchandise. So he not only got money for the order, but also kept the goods. But that’s not all: the Spaniard founded a company through which he resold the products obtained in this way. In doing so, he made extra profit with his online store.
Also Read: Amazon’s Unknown Deal Category
Biggest Amazon scam in Europe
The scam seemed to work well for a long time – until Amazon became aware of the large number of returns. Due to the high return rate, the online retailer checked all other returns from the customer and their partner at their Barcelona location and became aware of the fraud. The two men were arrested.
The lost goods caused damage to Amazon worth 330,000 euros. According to online trading website Tamebay, it was the biggest Amazon fraud in Europe so far. The defendants themselves likely made much more profit from the resale and return transfer.
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