Cases of fraud in the e-commerce sector have been rising in India, even as the country emerges as the world’s fastest growing e-commerce market, which is likely to surpass the United States by 2034 in volume. According to police sources, complaints of online fraud and connivance of e-commerce employees with anti-social elements have also seen an upward growth. Police sources also said that personal information of customers, including phone numbers, addresses and order details, are being sold to local small time criminals and fraudsters for Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per detail by employees of e-commerce companies.
Earlier this week, police in Dwarka in south-west Delhi unearthed a scam where employees of Amazon (one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies) were found to be involved in sharing personal information of customers and return order details to local thugs who then posed as pick-up boys of the same company, in order to cheat customers. According to police sources in Dwarka district, they have been receiving several complaints about such impostors from several sectors in Dwarka and this prompted them to decide to lay a trap and catch the persons involved in the crime.
A police official said: “Last week, we had received a complaint about an incident where impostors posing as Amazon delivery boys, wearing the company’s T-shirt and badge, came to pick up a return order for an iPhone in Sector 6 of Dwarka. But later, when the actual Amazon delivery boy came to pick up the same return order, the complainant (customer) realised that he had been cheated and so he informed the police about it, which is when we decided to lay a trap and catch them.”
Police sources also said that the insider takes care to leak information about products which are expensive and can be sold off in the outside market at a higher price.
“They target phones, cameras, laptops and other such expensive products that fetch them a good amount of money when sold outside,” the police official said.
The police have, so far, arrested three people involved in the scam and one Amazon delivery employee, Raju Singh, who is believed to have been supplying information to the thugs who have also been arrested and charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Samay Singh, the investigating officer in the case from Dwarka police station, said, “Information about customers was being leaked for money to local fraudsters who then went to the houses to collect the same order and sell it off in places like the Gaffar Market in Karol Bagh. We have arrested three people in connection to this case in Dwarka. The network is spread across Delhi-NCR. We have received about 20-30 such complaints. We are investigating and questioning the accused to find out about the other people involved in the case.”