Police: Former Amazon Employee Siphoned Off $18,000 In Gift Card Balances

Image courtesy of (bradleyolin)

When you send someone a gift card, you do so under the assumption that no one with access to the card has been draining any of the balance. That’s what we assume when having a card sent to the recipient, or when mailing it ourselves: why check to make sure the whole balance is there? Police say that a woman fulfilling Amazon gift card orders took advantage of this for a few years, draining $18,000 in Amazon gift card balances to her own cards.

The employee worked at a store in Pennsylvania that shipped chocolate gifts and did order fulfillment for Amazon. Officially, she was an Amazon employee. She claims to have been told by a colleague that transferring balances to her own card couldn’t be traced. “I have been taking gift cards since around Christmas time two years ago when it was brought to my attention that they were untraceable by another associate,” she wrote in a signed statement for police.

No, that doesn’t make any sense when you consider Amazon’s obsession with efficiency and data, but the employee assumed that what she had been told was correct. Maybe customers wouldn’t have noticed if she took only a small amount from many cards over time, but that is not what she did. Investigators say that she took $18,259 from 315 gift cards between September 2013 and February 2014. That’s an average of about $58 from each card.

She was caught under the exact scenario that her co-worker had told her wouldn’t happen: customers complained to Amazon that their gift cards were empty or missing part of their balance, and Amazon was able to trace those gift cards back to the store in Pennsylvania and to orders that she personally had processed. Oops.

Police: Former Amazon employee stole from customers’ gift cards, thought thefts were untraceable [Times-Leader] (Thanks, Mark!)

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