In what might seem like a scene out of impostor and con artist Frank Abagnale Jr’s life, a Delhi resident managed to pull a single trick on Amazon for 166 times and make a fortune. The 21-year old resident 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.
Chopra had pursued a course on hotel management from Delhi but was never successful in retaining a job. When he found himself without a job again in March, he came up with this plan. He decided to order two phones as a test. He then asked Amazon for a refund, and received the money back almost immediately. Milind Dumbere, DCP (north-west) said that Chopra exploited the company’s customer satisfaction policy. Amazon would give him the refund in the form of a gift voucher.
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.
Not only the disposing process, Chopra put a lot of thought into the buying process as well. Chopra, a resident of Tri Nagar, procured multiple SIM cards, made multiple accounts on Amazon and every time would place the order for a random address. When the delivery person would fail in locating his house, they would call Chopra and he would guide them to a place from where he would accept the package and give cash in return.
The company grew suspicious when they discovered at all these ’empty boxes’ were being received only at a particular area.
According to a report on Hindustan Times, neither the police, nor the site elaborated on the process of verification of such refund demands.
The individual who supplied these SIM cards to Chopra, Sachin Jain, a telecom store owner, has also been arrested. Jain would charge Rs 150 for each new phone number.
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.
The report on Hindustan Times mentions that even after creating so many profiles, Chopra’s biggest flaw was that he did not create a new name each time. Although he was using a fake name, Shubham, it didn’t take authorities long to figure out that it sounded very similar to his real name.
A case has been registered against Shivam Chopra and the case has been sent to the district’s cyber cell.