They can sneak it in once or twice but … 270 times? Returned products are Amazon’s biggest problem, as this striking news demonstrates.
Hudson Hamrick could spend the next 20 years of his life in jail. He is not a murderer or a drug smuggler. Your crime? Cheating $ 290,000 from Amazon by making purchases.
A player from Charlotte in North Carolina (United States), found guilty of scam Amazon over a period of five years.
Now they have to assign the sentence, but according to the law they can fall a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of $ 250,000. All this, for being too clever with Amazon returns …
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The scam is not new, but we have never seen it escalate to such a high number, with just one person.
Within five years, between 2016 and 2021, Hudson Hamrick placed 300 orders from Amazon, almost all of expensive products, including a Mac Pro valued at more than 6,000 euros.
After a few days of use, Hamrick returned about 270 of these products. But instead of including the original item in the return, I put another similar-looking one in the box, but much cheaper.
He received the return money and also kept the original product, which in many cases he sold, further increasing his profits.
With this scam, which lasted 5 years, managed to steal no less than $ 290,000 from Amazon.
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The questions that arise from this mind-blowing story are plentiful.
How was this person able to make 270 fraudulent returns over 5 years, and no one in Amazon’s returns department noticed that the returned product was not the same as the one sent?
Why does Amazon continue to allow purchases from a person who returns 90% of orders, after enjoying them for two weeks?
The scam isn’t new, but amazon’s issues with returns aren’t either.
Returning a product on Amazon is not complicated at all. If when you receive your order you have realized that it is not what you expected, you have found a defect or you simply do not want it anymore, the e-commerce giant allows you to easily return the item.
Amazon sells billions of products a year, and receives a few million returns.
Managing that requires a huge expense in time and logistics, to the point that with many cheap products it is cheaper not to collect the return, than to fetch it at the customer’s house, and return it to the warehouse.
It is quite frequent that, in specific cases, Amazon tells you not to return the product, and send you a similar one or give you a refund.
There are also reports that Amazon does not even review returned products, and directly destroys millions of them …
That would explain why Amazon has taken 5 years and 270 fraudulent returns to unmask the alleged scammer Hudson Hamrick.
Everything points to what the products were not checked, or simply the box was opened and a similar lump was appreciated, without checking if it was the same product. Or maybe it is that the review of returns has a delay of years …
It cannot be doubted that it is an immense and complicated task. The other side of the coin of Amazon’s unrivaled success: sells so many billions of products that returns become almost uncontrollable.