22-year old James Gilbert Kwarteng of Palma de Mallorca, Spain was recently arrested after scamming Amazon out of an estimated $370,000 by purchasing expensive items, then filing returns for the items and sending the boxes back with dirt that weighed the exact same as the original package, and selling the real items. Some more info while I wish I'd thought of it first but was smart enough to use a patsy to do all the dirty(!) work for me:
The return packages would end up sitting around in Amazon's warehouses where they aren't checked often. The scam wasn't discovered until through a random search where someone opened a box and discovered it was full of dirt.
Amazon's return policy states items shipped from the website, including Amazon Warehouse, can be returned within 30 days of receipt. Refunds are processed in two business days and customers can expect their funds show in their account in three to five business days.
Wait -- so returns just sit around in warehouses collecting dust? I mean these were obviously expensive returns. And there's no system to flag and investigate accounts with hundreds of thousands of dollars of returns? I feel like there's got to be a better way. Granted I have no clue what that way is, but I'm not exactly a captain of industry. I am, however, captain of a pirate ship. "No, you pretend your penis is a Spanish galleon whenever you take a bath." SEXY FACTS.
Thanks to Carsten and Irina A, who agrees the best is when Amazon tells you that you don't even need to send back the item you're returning and they just send you a new one but you also get to keep the broken one and try to fix it with tape and zip ties McGyver style.