GROVEPORT, Ohio — The Groveport Police Department says a Lancaster woman is responsible for scamming as many as 100 people using the Instacart grocery app.
The suspect is not being named because she has not officially been charged yet.
Tammy Rodich of Canal Winchester says she was a faithful Instacart user until last month.
Rodich said she used the Kroger app to order groceries, which was filled by Instacart.
When the delivery arrived at her home, she noticed some items were missing. She checked her digital receipt and was shocked at what she found.
“It said I had been charged around $870. I didn’t buy $870 worth of groceries. I bought $130 worth,” she said.
Rodich said she had no idea her credit card was being used fraudulently until her groceries arrived and noticed some items were missing so she checked her credit card balance.
That’s when she knew she was scammed.
“I was furious. I was glad my bank card wasn't attached to it. It's the holidays and that’s a lot of money," she said.
The thief, she says, used her credit card to buy a tool set, a crock pot, a blanket and more.
Detective Josh Gilbert helped track down the suspect and explained how the scam works.
When someone places an order, Gilbert said Instacart allows for order changes up to $2,000.
The scammer adds items to the order without the shopper knowing because the shopper doesn’t have alerts set on their app.
The app also allows the scammer to hit “order completed” after the delivery is made allowing, the order to be placed too late for the shopper to notice before the driver leaves their home.
“I think Instacart should put a limit on the percentage that can be altered,” said Detective Gilbert.
10TV contacted Kroger for comment and sent the following statement:
"If a customer has an issue with their order placed on Kroger.com, Kroger's customer service team is available 24/7 and can quickly review the situation and issue appropriate refunds."
In a statement, Instacart said "shoppers may be deactivated for reasons including fraudulent activity, violating applicable laws, failing to meet acceptable standards of service, or any other misuse of the platform.”
“I think this is a nationwide issue. A lot of people use the convenience of on line grocery deliver services and potentially not monitoring their account well enough that the order was altered,” Gilbert said.
Rodlich isn't the only shopper 10TV contacted.
One woman we spoke to ordered $68 worth of groceries but was billed $1,737.
Another woman bought $70 worth of food but was billed $1,023.
A police report says the suspect admitted to adding items to the victim's orders more than 100 times between August and November and would sell them on the streets in Columbus.
Here's how police say you can protect yourself: Make sure your alerts on your shopping app are on. If you are scammed, make sure you always pay with a credit card, that way you’re not out of cash. You can report the charge to your credit card company or bank, file a report with police and send a bad review to Instacart that can alert the company about the problem.
Detective Gilbert said the suspect in this case had several bad reviews.