Tampa woman made 42,000 fraudulent Amazon returns in past 5 years, detectives say

Booking image for Hoai Tibma

For five years, a 32-year-old woman made 42,000 individual returns through 31 different Amazon accounts -- and it was all a scam, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

On Tuesday, detectives said they arrested Hoai Tibma. They said between March 2015 and August 2020, she reused prepaid shipping labels created for canceled orders and applied them to other Amazon returns.

Detectives said the scheme made it appear Tibma paid for her shipping costs on the returns, but she didn't. In the end, they said she received more than $100,000 in reimbursements to her name. 

Officials said all 31 of her Amazon accounts were registered to her name and Tampa address.

"This woman took advantage of a loophole she discovered in the return process," said Sheriff Chad Chronister in a statement. "Through investigative means, our Economic Crimes detectives were able to quickly locate and apprehend the suspect. She was arrested without incident."

Detectives said Tibma admitted she conducted the scam, and faces a grand theft charge. 

Amazon issued a statement which says in part, "[Amazon has] systems and processes to detect suspicious behavior and we have teams that investigate and take action quickly. We identified this threat and cooperated with law enforcement to hold this bad actor accountable."