An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. government has indicted suspected members of a criminal group that uses Walmart insiders and other techniques to committing large-scale “reimbursement fraud”, according to recently released court records. In short, the scam involves someone ordering an item from Amazon, for example – who in this case claims to have lost $700,000 – receiving the item, then using one of several tricks to get their money back from the retailer. The person is then free to sell the item online and the criminal group takes a commission.
The indictment along with 404 Media’s own research into redemption fraud reveals a professionalized ecosystem of sellers and individuals providing various services in a large-scale scam. In addition to malicious insiders, refund scammers take advantage of online retailers’ customer service representatives and lax refund policies to obtain expensive items for free. This is not a crime whose only victims are the retail giants, who are likely to arouse little sympathy. Delivery drivers, who already have a very difficult job, are often accused of misdelivering or not delivering a package, which is what these types of scams often rely on.