Woman Exploited Bug On QVC Website To Steal Over $400k In Merchandise

A North Carolina woman named Quantina Moore-Perry pleaded guilty to wire fraud last week for stealing $412,000 worth of merchandise from television retailer QVC in 2005. She discovered and exploited a bug in QVC’s online ordering system, where she would still receive the merchandise without being charged if she canceled the order immediately after placing it. She would then sell the items on eBay.

From March to November of that year, over 1,800 items were delivered to her house by what we imagine must be the world’s least curious UPS driver in the country. (You’d think he’d grow suspicious after, say, the 900th delivery that summer.) Apparently QVC never caught on to the scam, but Moore-Perry’s good times came to an end when two women in Alabama contacted QVC after they grew suspicious about the items they purchased from her through eBay.

A shopping network with lots of female hosts, a lady con artist, and two private citizens (both women of course) from the south who crack the case—this totally sounds like a great idea for a Lifetime movie. We just can’t decide which character Jean Smart should play.

“N.C. woman admits 400G scam of QVC” [Philly.com]

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  1. ChrisC1234 says:

    Now I wonder how many people are going to order from QVC today and then immediately cancel their orders. I’m also curious to know how many other people have exploited this without getting caught.

  2. stevemis says:

    Appears to have been convicted of larceny in NC in 1998. Obviously hasn’t rehabilitated yet…

    [webapps6.doc.state.nc.us]

  3. Manok says:

    wish I thought of that.

  4. mantari says:

    Back in the older web days, (some foolish) people used to embed their business directly into the HTML. That is, put product name and price into the forms. Thus, if you modified the HTML that listed the $200 item into a $20 item, you could literally ‘name your own price’ for the things you wanted.

  5. avantartist says:

    @stevemis: brilliant [props to you stevemis]

  6. ismith says:

    The question is, did QVC fix this exploit?

    @Mantari: Those were the good old days… I never tried that though, in fear that they would cancel my order and I would lose my money.

    My family gives holiday gifts to our FedEx delivery man (same guy for 8 years), perhaps this woman gave that UPS driver a little something for his troubles as well. Must’ve been a pain to be making a delivery basically several times a week, every week.

  7. She got caught because she got lazy and sent the items to the auction winners still in their QVC boxes. I would bet she didn’t even open them.

  8. stinerman says:

    @mantari:
    I know people who’ve abused price match policies in the same way. They save the web page, change the price, and then print it out and take it to the store. The min. wage clerk doesn’t know the difference, so they assume it’s a legit ad and refund some money.

  9. andyj76 says:

    It’s interesting that QVC shipping orders that have been cancelled ends up in a criminal charge for the woman.
    Admittedly it was dishonest to continue to exploit the situation, but the problem was still a result of QVC’s system.

    If I ordered something, then decided that I’d changed my mind and cancelled, I would like to think that I wouldn’t get arrested if the company subsequently shipped it to me anyway.

  10. alilz says:

    AndyJ76, it’s not like she accidentally cancelled and received one or two things. That may have happened at first. But then she used that to steal from the company and then sell the stuff to make money.

  11. tvh2k says:

    @andyj76: It all comes down to the intent — the “mens rea” component. INAL but her actions would seem constitute fraudulent and when done with a “guilty conscience” would certainly be illegal.

  12. babaki says:

    @stinerman: best buy and the like no longer accept web page print outs. you have to have the actual paper ad, i assume just for the reason you gave.

  13. no.no.notorious says:

    @ismith: bow-chicka-wow-wow…

  14. nursetim says:

    @andyj76:
    You also have the selling the stuff on eBay component to the story too, so you definitely have criminal intent.

  15. bbbici says:

    Well, I hope she gave the two eBay-buyer rats bad feedback.

    Good on this lady for working the system, i wish her luck in her defense.

  16. Tush says:

    Wow, that is a huge bug in QVC’s system.

  17. timmus says:

    I bet if someone tried to defraud my business like that, the police would just laugh and tell me to take her to court. But because it’s a big corporation . . .

  18. timmus says:

    Oh… does ANYONE know the seller name for this person? It would be interesting to look at those auctions and the feedback.

  19. zibby says:

    @bbbici: If you think this woman had it going on, may I ask if you’ve ever heard of Joseph Jett? Prepare to have a new hero…

  20. SBR249 says:

    @andyj76: You wouldn’t be liable if you contacted the vendor and tried to arrange for a return of the product. You can’t keep the product if you didn’t pay for it.

  21. skinny2 says:

    @ISMITH: as if the UPS guys are volunteers? WTF do they care who buys what? They’re going to deliver 100 stops a day and get a paycheck no matter what. Of course my mailman does everything in his power to get out of picking up my priority mail packages. I told him if he didn’t want to pickup and deliver package, maybe he shouldn’t be a F@#$@# mailman! I just make sure and buy the insurance…..

  22. spinachdip says:

    @SBR249: Actually, anything you receive in the mail that you didn’t order is essentially a gift from the vendor. See previous thread: [consumerist.com]

  23. alexanderpink says:

    Yes, according to above, found here: [www.ftc.gov] she may not be legally liable for any charges. But I’m no lawyer.

  24. adamondi says:

    Quantina. Wow. You would think that someone with a name like Quantina would strive to prove stereotypes wrong….

  25. alilz says:

    @alexanderpink:

    How could she not be legally liable when she admitted that she used the scam to steal $400,000 + in merchandise from QVC and then sell the stolen merchandise on ebay?

    She’s not an innocent victim in this, she would cancel orders so she could steal from QVC. And then sell some of the merchandise to make money off of it. It doesn’t sound much different than someone figuring out how to steal from a physical store and then selling the stolen goods.

  26. andyj76 says:

    She made an order, she cancelled an order. If QVC didn’t ship the goods, she wouldn’t get the goods. It’s not illegal to order something and then cancel it.
    It is most definitely immoral to keep exploiting the system in order to receive goods that you are not entitled to, but it’s not illegal to place an order and then cancel it.
    If I go into IKEA and order some furniture for delivery and then change my mind, that’s not shoplifting, even if they subsequently deliver it to my house.
    Personally, I would phone IKEA up and say “Hey, I changed my mind and you delivered this crap to my door”
    If QVC could correctly handle cancelled orders, this would be a non-issue

  27. alilz says:

    She made and cancelled orders specifically to steal from QVC. I’m no expert in the law, but I’m pretty sure once there’s intent to steal or defraud a company those actions become illegal.

  28. @adamondi: yes. you win.

  29. Trick says:

    @ismith:

    Must’ve been a pain to be making a delivery basically several times a week, every week.

    Isn’t the delivery man getting paid to deliver packages?