Amazon allegedly scammed out of $370K by 22-year-old's return shipments of dirt


A 22-year-old has been arrested in an alleged scam of the largest internet retailer that totaled nearly $370,000 by sending return packages filled with dirt.

James Gilbert Kwarteng, of Palma de Mallorca, Spain, allegedly swindled Amazon Opens a New Window. by filling up the ordered items’ boxes with dirt and registering with the exact weight of the product. He would then receive a refund from Amazon and sell the original item, according to El Español Opens a New Window. and El Diario de Mallorca Opens a New Window. .

The return packages would end up sitting around in Amazon’s warehouses where they aren’t checked often. The scam wasn’t discovered until through a random search where someone opened a box and discovered it was full of dirt.

Amazon’s return policy states items shipped from the website, including Amazon Warehouse, can be returned within 30 days of receipt. Refunds are processed in two business days and customers can expect their funds show in their account in three to five business days.

The report states the success of the alleged scam by Kwarteng, who has been released on bail, enabled him to create his own company.

From foxbusiness website

Multiple returns from the same buyers

and this is why I have ALWAYS had a problem with the way Amazon Accepts Returns

We have heard over and over again how sellers get Scammed. Sell an item, buyer returns something else, Buyer gets their money back and gets to Keep the item

They should have a Return Department that Opens Every return and Cross check it with Amazon’s catalog.
Should be very simple, scan the barcode Photo pops up.


Hey, as long as that return shipping label shows delivered, we must refund. :rofl: Doesn’t matter if it’s dirt, rocks, bricks, or a concrete block. Doesn’t matter if it’s five months later.

But seriously… no one was checking those packages quickly enough to see that something was wrong before he made off with that kind of cash? Doesn’t sound like very efficient warehouses, or we’re not being told the whole story. It sounds like Amazon didn’t GET scammed but ALLOWED themselves to be scammed.


I wrote out a reply to this… although, it’s requiring moderator approval. :roll_eyes:


You think Nordstrom’s, Macy’s Saks or Big Box stores just see the Return box and give out refunds ?? No they have a department that just handles returns and they open the package scan the ticket and check the item before they issue a refund


I got that the other day as well. Not sure what that’s all about


I believe this young man will be persecuted to the full extent of Spanish law. I think it is safe to say, that this sort of activity eventually sorts itself out (although apparently some sellers don’t have the patience to wait for the final credits).


I couldn’t help myself after reading your comment. :rofl::rofl::rofl:


You noticed that? :grin: Hope you found it punny. Have a great weekend kids!



We often get FBA returns with the reason: Wrong item or damaged item received.
Amazon receives it back and marks 100% as unsellable
When we receive them back to us many of them are in ideal conditions. That means they did not really check what they get back.

Although when we receive return directly from customer we never really check what is inside. It also may sit unopened for weeks and go directly to trash.


I’d be livid if this guy was one of the buyers I would’ve had to deal with.

Not only did this schmuck keep the product, get a refund, and re-sell the product.
He made himself a business off of the headache, and frustration from buyers sellers he swindled.

At least Amazon doesn’t have to go too far to source some Grade A dirt from Spain. :roll_eyes:


me too.
nobody likes us.


It’s Easy to Waste Other People’s Money


Ya, how did you think amazon got so wealthy? They took it all from the sellers and gave it to the buyers that recycled again to scam more.


Did he scam Amazon, or did he scam a bunch of third-party sellers?


Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world generating $232.9 billion in revenue in 2018 and a net income growth of 30.9%. In 2017, the ecommerce company’s net revenue was $177.9 billion, up from $135.9 billion in 2016. Around 50% of all sales on Amazon marketplaces come from third-party sellers.

so I would say 50/50


Me, too! I then rewrote the post that was put into pending mode, cutting out anything that I thought might be controversial, and posted that. But then the original one turned up on the forum, too, I think about an hour later. Intact, nothing cut. Made me look like I’m descending into Alzheimer’s, posting nearly the same thing twice.

[sorry, off-topic, I know]


Yeah, you’d think they’d have noticed after, say $20 of returns. Who’s minding the store, the Three Stooges? :rofl:


So that is $370,000 in returns, and still no red flags for return abuse. Maybe they need to cap returns per user at $5,000 a year.


^ Or at the very least make the small effort to ensure the buyer is, you know, actually returning the thing they’re saying they’re returning and not just boxes of dirt.