Man duped Amazon 166 times by ordering phones and getting refunds each time

New Delhi: A 21-year-old man has been arrested for duping Amazon of Rs 52 lakh by ordering expensive mobile phones and later getting refunds by claiming he received an empty box, police said on Tuesday.

He would buy expensive phones from online retailer Amazon, and then ask for a refund after informing them that the box he received was empty. This way Shivam Chopra made around Rs 52 lakh in May and April.

A resident of Tri Nagar in north Delhi, Chopra worked in some hotels for a brief period and is currently unemployed.

He was arrested last week following a complaint by the company whose internal team investigated the crime.

Explaining his modus operandi, Milind Dumbere, DCP (north-west) said that Chopra relied on Sachin Jain, a telecom store owner, to provide him SIM cards on fake identity proofs. “Chopra procured 141 SIM cards and created more than 50 email IDs using those numbers. He created many accounts on the e-commerce app and began ordering mobile phones,” he said.

Chopra would allegedly provide fake addresses for delivery. “When the delivery boy would be unable to trace the address, he would call Chopra for directions. Chopra would then call him to a random place and receive the product by paying cash. This process would ensure his real identity was never known,” added Dumbere.

Minutes after the delivery, Chopra would allegedly seek a refund from the company by claiming that the phone box was empty. The company would initiate the refund in the form of gift voucher. Chopra benefitted twice – by receiving the refund and by selling the new phone without its box and documents.

Once the phones were in his possession, Chopra would sell them online on sites like OLX or would sell them in Delhi’s notorious Gaffar market.

The police seized 19 mobile phones, 12 lakh in cash, 40 bank passbooks and cheques from Chopra’s home. He had also kept Rs 10 lakh with someone for safekeeping.

“Chopra misused the e-commerce company’s ‘customer satisfactory policy’ by working in a planned manner,” said Dumbere in a press conference which was also attended by a team of the e-commerce company.

According to reports, the company realised that they were being cheated when they found that that all the purchases were being made from one particular neighbourhood in Tri Nagar.

According to Hindustan Times, despite his efforts to allegedly procure multiple SIMs, create email IDs and have several bank accounts, Chopra erred when it came to creating a fake name. “He operated under the fake name of Shubham. It sounded similar to his original name, Shivam. He did not find it necessary to use a new name each time,” an investigator told Hindustan Times.

Weeks of investigations on the purchase trails led the police to Chopra. “Three delivery boys have identified him,” the investigator added.

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