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YouTube pranksters outwit Amazon ‘smart’ shopping technology using bags of sand

Archie Manners and Josh Pieters, who have almost 1.5 million channel subscribers, managed to trick the Amazon Fresh ‘smart’ shelves into letting them walk out with £25 worth of food

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YouTube pranksters ‘legally’ steal from Amazon Fresh

A pair of YouTube pranksters tricked a self-service Amazon store into giving them food for free after swapping it for weighted bags of sand on the shelves.

Archie Manners and Josh Pieters, who have almost 1.5 million channel subscribers, managed to make off with £25 worth of food after outwitting the unmanned and cashierless shop.

Their latest video shows how they got around more than 2,000 sensors watching their every move and scales on the shelves at an Amazon Fresh store in London.

They pulled off the trick by purchasing the same items at Sainsbury’s before replacing them with sand and water so they were then able to put the fake items on the Amazon Fresh shelves.

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YouTube pranksters outwit Amazon shopping technology using bags of sand
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Josh & Archie /Youtube)

Archie told the Times that they spoke to a lawyer before pulling off the audacious stunt and were advised it was not illegal because they did not intend to “permanently deprive” Amazon of the items.

Before attempting the trick, they investigated the store and worked out Amazon is aware you have picked up a product because of the scales on the shelves.

Their latest video shows how they got around more than 2,000 sensors
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Image:

Josh & Archie /Youtube)

Josh said: “When I pick it up it knows I’ve picked it up and if I walk out with it it knows I’ve pick it up and will charge it to my Amazon account.

“If I put it back it knows it’s been put back and I won’t get charged.”

Before making their move, they cased the Amazon Fresh shop, demonstrating in the video that if you pick up an item from a shelve, which has scales, Amazon knows you have picked up the product.

Before attempting the trick, they investigated the store
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Image:

Josh & Archie /Youtube)

It was then that they put their plan into action and returned to the store with a haul of replacement items, bought at another supermarket, filled with sand and water to fool the scales.

Using the fake name Robert Da Shop, they then proceeded to walk out with items including a Cadbury’s Easter egg, a packet of Kellogg’s Fruit ‘n’ Fibre, a Pot Noodle, kettle crisps, Heinz cream of tomato packet soup and a bottle of wine.

They then went back to Sainsbury’s to get a refund on the original food items.

They pulled off the trick by purchasing the same items at Sainsbury’s before replacing them with sand and water
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Image:

Josh & Archie /Youtube)

Josh added: “If anything, we’re showing Amazon where there might be vulnerabilities in their system and where they might need to tighten things up so this doesn’t happen in the future.

“As we said in the video, we wouldn’t encourage anyone to do this so if anything, maybe it was just a bit of free help to Amazon.

“Looking at it, you might take the opinion that man can outwit machines but also big companies might want to think twice before getting rid of their human workforces, because perhaps a human is better at keeping a shop order than a machine is right now.”

They sent a friend back to Amazon Fresh to buy back the items
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Image:

Josh & Archie /Youtube)

They sent a friend back to Amazon Fresh to buy back the items to make sure a regular customer did not mistakenly purchase the sand-filled items by mistake.

The duo previously achieved national news headlines when they tricked the anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn into accepting a bundle of fake cash to stop criticising the AstraZeneca Covid jab.

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