Here’s How Amazon Uses “Fake Packages” To Trap Dishonest Drivers Who Steal

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Sep 21 2018
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Amazon is the world’s largest online retail company with average monthly traffic in excess of 1.8-billion. And it has just moved ahead of Microsoft and other competitors to position itself as the third-biggest player in the U.S. digital advertising market – behind Google and Facebook. But even at 4.2% share, Amazon is expected to generate US$4.6 billion in U.S. online ad revenue this year.


As CEO Jeff Bezos becomes richer and richer every single day, reports about the conditions in the company’s warehouses have raised eyebrows. There were reports how workers would urinate in cans, bottles or anything they could get hold of for fear of missing their strict targets because they took too much time to go to the bathroom. Chatting with co-workers is prohibited.


In the past 3 years, Amazon UK warehouses reportedly had called ambulances over 600 times. But considering the empire handles more than 3-million packages a day (Alibaba handles more than 12-million), naturally its warehouse workers became human robots. Every second lost is a massive wealth lost to the world’s richest man – Jeff Bezos.

Amazon Jeff Bezos Laugh

Commanding US$160 billion in net worth isn’t going to stop billionaire Bezos from making his empire meaner and leaner. Now, it is revealed how Amazon has been setting up creative traps to catch its dishonest drivers who steal packages. Make no mistake about it. Losses attributable to theft and fraud cost retailers almost US$50 billion in 2017 alone.


Here’s how it works. Amazon would plant “fake packages” – referred to as “dummy” packages internally – in the trucks of drivers randomly. The dummy packages have fake labels and are often empty. During deliveries, drivers scan the labels of every package they deliver. When they scan a fake label on a dummy package, an error message will pop up.


When this happens, the drivers might call their supervisors to solve the problem, or keep the package in their truck and return it to an Amazon warehouse at the end of their shift. However, the drivers could choose not to alert anyone and steal the package because in theory, Amazon’s system wouldn’t recognize the package, therefore, it wouldn’t register as missing if undelivered.

Amazon - Jeff Bezos

A former manager for DeliverOL, a courier company that delivers packages for Amazon, confirmed the tactic – “If you bring the package back, you are innocent. If you don’t, you’re a thug. It’s meant to be a trap, to check the integrity of the driver.” Of course, this is not the only anti-theft measures deployed by Amazon against its workers.


Amazon has also been known to deter potential thieves with the “name and shame” strategy – by showing its warehouse workers videos of colleagues being caught stealing. But as the company has started delivering packages in customers’ cars and homes, the billion dollar business in theft will continue to give Amazon a run for its money to fight such problems.


The fact that such traps have been revealed also means planting fake packages would not work anymore. Only a dumb or a clueless delivery worker will get caught. There’re many ways to steal. They could simply cut the Amazon tape on the other side of the package, steal some items and seal it back with clear or transparent tape and deliver it as if nothing had happened.

Amazon Undelivered Package - Stolen

Yes, Amazon is still not able to prevent its delivery workers from stealing certain items from a package. It was like taking a bite from some apples but delivered the package to its recipient anyway. Perhaps Jeff Bezos should pay his workers better. However, there were also many cases where customers filed complaints that they didn’t get their packages but actually received them.


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