New Delhi, October 11, 2017 : Leading e-commerce portal Amazon was taken for a ride by a 21-year-old youth who is said to have duped the company for over 50 lakh.
As per the police, the accused, identified as Shivam Chopra, bought over 166 expensive mobile phones via the online e-commerce store Amazon and consequently demanded refunds claiming he had received an empty box.
Shivam, a resident of north-west Delhi’s Tri Nagar, holds a degree in hotel management. However, he chose to use all his management skills to con the commercial giant, Amazon.
A complaint registered this year on behalf of Amazon Seller Services Private Limited first raised eyebrows in June when it was revealed that refunds had been claimed for as many as 166 mobile phones that had been ordered between April and May, on the claims that the delivery packages were empty. Suspicion gathered momentum when it was further revealed that payments for all these 166 mobiles were made through gift cards.
Allegedly, Shivam would use different customer accounts (reports suggest he used 48 different accounts) to place orders of expensive phones on Amazon and would provide the portal with a false address. He would then speak with the delivery associate and collect his order at a mutually decided place within the locality. Consequently, Shivam would then place complaints with Amazon, claiming that he had received an empty package and would demand a refund.
Subsequently, refunds were initiated in the form on gift cards.
Following an enquiry, a case was registered with the Delhi Police in August.
The accused was then identified with the help of Amazon’s delivery persons, and the locals and by tracing the multiple numbers that were used to place the orders and Shivam was arrested on October 6.
According to the police, Shivam allegedly also purchased 150 pre-activated SIM cards to place the orders from different numbers. His accomplice in the con, Sachin Jain, has also been arrested, who helped provide him the SIM cards.
As per a report by PTI, upon investigation, the Delhi Police recovered 19 mobile phones from Shivam’s house. It was revealed that he had sold all other devices to buyers in the notorious Gaffar Market, or on the online marketplace OLX. The police also recovered Rs 12 lakh in cash, 40 bank passbooks and cheques from his house.
An Amazon India spokesperson later thanks ed the Delhi police for their services in an official statement and added, “We continue to work closely with the Delhi Police and thank them for all their efforts in the investigation.”
An ordinary guy who duped an e-commerce website and claimed refunds running into lakhs of rupees – the case is not a first of its kind. Previously, con-men had been arrested for duping rival e-commerce website FlipKart. However, what is peculiar is how no action has been taken to keep such frauds at bay and these cases continue to suffer.