Buyer beware: ‘Empty Box Scam’ targeting online shoppers

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Some Amazon customers have reported getting a delivery they paid for, but when they open the box…nothing is inside.

It’s an attempt to circumvent Amazon’s guarantee policy, and it’s working. It’s called the “Empty Box Scam.”

When buying is as easy as the click of a button, the small print can be an afterthought. And you might not realize so many of the products you buy on Amazon are really from a third party seller.

That’s how Becky Allen lost a few hundred dollars in one transaction.

“We ordered a DVD box set of movies for my son and they sent us ones from a foreign country. We went back and fourth with them at least trying to get them reimbursed or the right cds sent, and they never did send the right cds or reimburse us,” Allen said.

She paid for something her family couldn’t even use. Now, some buyers report getting nothing but a box.

“That is awful, especially if it’s something expensive,” said customer Madison Miller.

The third party sellers are banking on customers signing for the delivery.

“And that’s the loophole because they’re trying to create that paper trail, even though they’ve sent you an empty box, it clears them. Cause if they just took the money and run, then you’d have a different fraud, but now the burden of proof is on you the consumer,” said Pete Stone, business program director with SCC.

Amazon says it has a zero-tolerance policy for fraud. The company encourages anyone who doesn’t get their product to report it, and to protect yourself. They say it may be wise to take a video of you opening the boxes you receive.

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