Imagine ordering anything you want from e-commerce giant Amazon and not having to pay for it.
That is exactly what Chikkamagaluru resident Darshan, employed with a courier agency, was doing for five months by allegedly rigging a tab given by Amazon defrauding the company of over Rs.1.3 crore.
The elaborate fraud unfolded over 5 months between September 2017 and February 2018. In this period, Amazon received 4,604 orders from Chikkamagaluru and all these products were delivered by Darshan, who works with Ekdanta courier company, as per Times of India.
Chikkamagaluru Superintendent of Police (SP) Annamalai explained to TNM that 23-year-old Darshan, a Class 10 dropout, had found a way to create a false payment alert at the time of swiping the card.
The police were alerted after officials at Amazon noticed an anomaly in its quarterly internal audit in February.
Amazon uses an internal application - Amazon Flex - also referred to as 'Rabbit' application to track its deliveries. The tab has a card reader which notifies the application while processing every delivery.
Police are investigating how the application misreported card transactions to the company.
"They have either found a way to tinker with the software or it could even be a mechanical malfunction. We are trying to check that but at some point, he has found out that that the company is receiving a message that the amount has been deducted even when the card failed to read," said Annamalai.
He elaborated that at some point Darshan realised that he could order items without having to pay for it. "Once he realised that the money was not getting deducted, he asked a group of his friends to keep ordering expensive products. He would go to each house deliver these products as well," said Annamalai.
The police, mapping each order address, meticulously zeroed in on four offenders and arrested them. They also seized a haul of 21 smartphones, a laptop, an iPod, an Apple Watch and four bikes from Darshan and three of his accomplices Punith (19), Sachin Shetty (18) and Anil Shetty (24), residents of Chikkamagaluru.
Police are still on the lookout for three more members involved in the fraud.