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Amazon Accuses Worker of Issuing Fraudulent Refunds

Amazon
Amazon Accuses Worker of Issuing Fraudulent Refunds

Amazon said it fired an employee in July and reported him to the FBI after it found he had allegedly used its systems to commit fraud. On Friday, the US Department of Justice brought charges against the former employee for federal wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to the company.

While employed at Amazon, he falsely issued refunds for products ordered on Amazon.com to himself and his associates, Amazon alleged.

We sent an inquiry to Amazon to learn if any third-party sellers were impacted by the alleged fraud. We’ll update the story if it responds. (See update below.) In the meantime, Amazon stated in its press release:

“Amazon has systems and processes in place to mitigate misuse of our tools, and to monitor and detect suspicious behavior. Amazon’s systems identified the suspicious refunds and Amazon conducted a thorough investigation.”

Amazon issued the following statement in today’s announcement:

We thank the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation for their swift work to hold this fraudster accountable. There is no place for misconduct or fraud at Amazon. We hold our employees to a high bar, have systems in place to proactively prevent fraud, continue to monitor activity, and will pursue all measures to protect our store and hold bad actors accountable.

Amazon has an extensive history of taking action to hold bad actors accountable for fraud and abuse:

https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/amazon-supports-investigation-and-prosecution-four-new-york
https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/amazon-establishes-counterfeit-crimes-unit-bring-counterfeiters
https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/amazon-stops-multiple-fraudulent-affiliate-marketing-schemes
https://www.cnet.com/news/ftc-gets-11m-settlement-from-get-rich-quick-scammers-targeting-amazon/

techcrunch.com/2018/08/06/amazon-is-working-with-the-ftcs-fraud-investigation-against-sellers-playbook/

TechCrunch has a detailed account of the federal charges, and you can see the full press release on AboutAmazon.com.

Update 10/6/2020: An Amazon spokesperson told EcommerceBytes, “Amazon’s systems identified the fraudulent transactions and is in the process of refunding any affected sellers.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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