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Amazon sues alleged scammers who stole thousands and thousands by bribing and hacking their method to refunds for merchandise they by no means returned



Amazon.com sued what it referred to as a global ring of thieves who swiped thousands and thousands of {dollars} in merchandise from the corporate by a sequence of refund scams that included shopping for merchandise on Amazon and in search of refunds with out returning the products.

A corporation referred to as REKK marketed its refund providers on social media websites, together with Reddit and Discord, and communicated with perpetrators on the messaging app Telegram, Amazon stated in a lawsuit filed Thursday in US District Courtroom within the state of Washington. The lawsuit names REKK and practically 30 individuals from the US, Canada, UK, Greece, Lithuania and the Netherlands as defendants within the scheme, which concerned hacking into Amazon’s inside programs and bribing Amazon staff to approve reimbursements. REKK charged prospects, who wished to get expensive gadgets like MacBook Professional laptops and automobile tires with out paying for them, a fee based mostly on the worth of the acquisition. 

“The defendants’ scheme methods Amazon into processing refunds for merchandise which are by no means returned; as a substitute of returning the merchandise as promised, defendants hold the product and the refund,” Amazon stated in its lawsuit.

The lawsuit lists greater than a dozen transactions from June 2022 to Might 2023 as resulting in fraudulent refunds. Objects bought embrace gaming consoles, smartphones, laptops and even a pure gold coin. The corporate identifies no less than seven former Amazon staff that participated within the theft as “insiders” by allegedly taking bribes of hundreds of {dollars} to approve refunds regardless that merchandise weren’t returned.

Consumers world wide will spend $678 billion on Amazon websites this 12 months, making it a giant goal for scams that typically result in prison indictments and contain Amazon insiders. In 2020, an Amazon worker in India was charged with taking $100,000 in bribes to present choose retailers benefits over others promoting items on the positioning. 

Amazon stated it spent $1.2 billion and employed 15,000 individuals in 2022 to combat theft, fraud and abuse on its website.

“When fraud is detected, as on this case, Amazon takes quite a lot of measures to cease the exercise, together with issuing warnings, closing accounts, and stopping people who engaged in refund fraud from opening new accounts,” Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vp answerable for vendor providers, stated in a LinkedIn publish.

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