According to a media report, the woman pocketed Rs 70 lakh by duping the online shopping giant.

Woman from Bengaluru dupes Amazon of Rs 70 lakh by returning fake products over a yearImage for representation only/ Courtesy: images.hellogiggles.com
news Crime Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 08:32

A Bengaluru woman who managed to dupe online shopping giant Amazon for almost a year is finally behind the bars. Petlee Peter reports for The Times of India that the Hennur police arrested a 32-year-old woman after she allegedly duped Amazon by exploiting its return policy. 

Deepanwita Ghosh, reportedly a resident of Agara, made several online purchases in the past year and claimed refunds after returning "lookalike" products. 

After a year of duping Amazon and pocketing nearly Rs 70 lakh in the process, Deepanwita finally landed in police custody in the end of April and has been sent to judicial custody. This was after an Amazon representative Denu T Nair lodged a complaint with the police, states the report. 

Modus Operandi

Deepanwita used fake names to make 104 purchases, including high-end electronic items. Within 24 hours, she would then place a return request demanding refund. However, the delivery address and the return address were different. 

“Every time, the delivery address was different from the C-return address; they were often in different cities. After getting a repayment from Amazon to her bank account, Ghosh would replace the product with a substandard one and hand over the package to the delivery person,” said Ajay Hilori, deputy commissioner of police, Bengaluru east.

According to the police, Deepanwita operated as a seller on a shopping portal using a fake name and received orders from customers across the country. She would then place an order with Amazon (using the customers' address). After Deepanwita received the payment Amazon has delivered the item (s) to the customers, Deepanwita would place a return request. She would then return lookalike products and receive a refund from Amazon. 

Late detection

The TOI report states that Amazon previously did not have a policy of checking the contents of the package while accepting return orders, which made it easy for Deepanwita to dupe the company. 

The report also quotes unnamed sources from the company as indicating that the company is set to bring changes to its return policy. 

As it turns out, this is not the first case where a customer manipulated the return policy to trick e-commerce websites. In October 2015, the Cyberabad police arrested a 25-year-old man for cheating Amazon and Flikart of Rs 36 lakh. 
 
Pulagam Veera Raghava Reddy and his family would place orders on both the e-commerce websites using fake email ids and addresses. And once the items were delivered, they would empty the parcel, replace it with duplicate items and then accuse the seller of selling substandard items.
 
Later, the company would either replace the item or issue a refund in cash. While Reddy cheated Flipkart of Rs 26 lakhs, Amazon lost Rs 16 lakh to this online fraud.

In the aftermath of demonetisation, online shopping companies including Flipkart and Amazon saw 50% of their products being returned by customers who did not have currency in new notes to pay for the products they ordered. 

While there have been innumerable instances where customers have received wrong delivery or even bizarre items, there have been no dearth in people managing to con the companies. 

In March last year, two men were arrested from Hyderabad for duping Flipkart and Amazon. They would return the product parcels after filling it with sand, said a report

 

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.