Warning about a new scam in the US

We received this message from a member of my family who lives in another state. I can not verify all the details, however as a former Licensed Security Consultant I can verify that the technology to do this scam exist. We have no reports that this scam is being used in our area, however once something like this is published on social media( which it has) it “inspires” copycats.

There are two main warning here:

Be wary of accepting any “surprise gift or package,” which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package. Also, never accept anything if you do not, personally, know or there is no proper identification of who the sender is.

Above all, the only time you should give out any personal credit/debit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction!

“This is very clever. I would probably fall for it if not warned. This scam is, actually, very, clever. Just when you thought you’d heard it all. Be very careful out there! Beware of people bearing gifts!

The following is a recounting of the incident from the victim:

Wednesday a week ago, I had a phone call from someone saying that he was from some outfit called: “Express Couriers,” (The name could be any courier company). He asked if I was going to be home because there was a package for me that required a signature.

The caller said that the delivery would arrive at my home in, roughly, an hour. Sure enough, about an hour later, a uniformed delivery man turned up with a beautiful basket of flowers and a bottle of wine. I was, very, surprised since there was no special occasion or holiday, and I, certainly, didn’t expect anything like it. Intrigued, I inquired as to who the sender was.

The courier replied, “I don’t know, I’m only delivering the package.”

Apparently, a greeting card was being sent separately. (The card has never arrived!) There was also a consignment note with the gift.

He then went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol, there was a $3.50 “delivery/ verification charge,” providing proof that he had, actually, delivered the package to an adult (of legal drinking age), and not just left it on the doorstep where it could be stolen or taken by anyone, especially a minor.

This sounded logical and I offered to pay him cash. He then said that the delivery company required payment to be by credit or debit card only, so that everything is, properly, accounted for, and this would help in keeping a legal record of the transaction.

He added, “Couriers don’t carry cash to avoid loss or being, likely, targets for robbery.”

My husband, who by this time was standing beside me, pulled out his credit card, and the “delivery man,” asked him to swipe the card on a small mobile card machine with a small screen and keypad. Frank, my husband, was asked to enter his PIN number and a receipt was printed out. He was given a copy of the transaction.

The guy said everything was in order, and wished us good day, and left.

To our, horrible, surprise, between Thursday and the following Monday, $4,000 had been charged/withdrawn from our credit/debit account at various ATM machines.

Apparently, the “mobile credit card machine,” which the deliveryman carried, now, had all the info necessary to create a “dummy” card with all our card details including the PIN number.

Upon finding out about the illegal transactions on our card, we, immediately, notified the bank which issued us a new card, and our credit/debit account was closed.

We, also, personally, went to the police, where it was confirmed that it is, definitely, a scam because several households had been, similarly, hit.”

PLEASE, pass this on, it may just prevent someone else from being swindled.

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