Armley resident is victim of parcel swap scam

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By Michelle Corns

Imagine you ordered an expensive watch from Amazon. You rush to open the parcel – only to find it contains a large packet of contraceptives. Well, that’s exactly what happened to Armley resident Annabell Kesby.

Annabell, who has a medical condition which can cause loss of consciousness, chose the £379 watch because of its built-in heart rate monitor and fall detector that would trigger an alert and call their partner’s phone. 

“We were over in Manchester when the Amazon driver called,” says Annabell. “Because it is a high-value item, I had been given a code and told to only give it on receipt of the item – not over the phone. The driver kept asking for the code over the phone. I refused to give it to him.”

A ring doorbell clearly showed the first delivery attempt, with the driver holding the parcel containing the watch, along with two other packets. The following day, the item was delivered. Annabell signed for it assuming it was the watch… however the labels had been swapped and instead of the watch, the parcels contained garden lights their partner had ordered – and a giant box of condoms. 

“It’s been really stressful,” Annabell told West Leeds Dispatch. “I’ve spent about eight hours on the phone to Amazon. I ended up having to buy another watch from the official site because I don’t trust Amazon anymore. I have autism and this has also caused autistic meltdowns whilst on the phone to Amazon customer services. They hung up on me twice. They have no awareness training.”

After the BBC put her complaint to Amazon, Annabell was offered a refund.

This is not an isolated case. There have been other reports about Amazon customers who have ordered an expensive item such as a laptop and received dog food or some other low value item that weighs the same. The onus is on the customer to prove they didn’t receive their item. 

Annabell’s Bank, Halifax, refunded the money and charged it back to Amazon. 

Amazon said the customers identified by the BBC have since received or been offered refunds.

“We work hard to protect customers, selling partners and Amazon from abuse and we have systems in place to detect suspicious behaviour,” a spokesperson added.

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