TODAYS TOPIC: Delivery Scam Steals Customer Info with Crafty Con
THE CONCERN: Everyone loves a surprise present… except when it’s a scam. Be on the lookout for scammers who are taking advantage of the holiday season. This con seems like you are receiving a package, but it’s really a way to steal your credit or debit card information.
HOW THE SCAM WORKS: Your phone rings, and it’s a delivery company saying that you have a package on the way. A short while later, the door bell rings. Sure enough, it’s a delivery person holding a gift basket. You ask who sent the gift, but the deliverer doesn’t know. He or she may claim the card was sent separately.
You decide to accept the “gift” anyway. Before the delivery person can leave it, he or she says you need to pay a nominal “verification fee.” In one version of the scam, the amount allegedly confirms that the basket, which contains a bottle of wine, was given to a person of legal drinking age. The delivery person claims he or she can only accept credit or debit cards, and produces a hand held card scanner.
This may all seem totally normal, but it’s a set up. The “card scanner” is actually a device that collects the credit/debit card number, PIN and/or security code. Con artists then use this to make unauthorized charges or commit identity theft.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM A DELIVERY SCAM:
• Be suspicious of a package from an unrecognized delivery service or source. If a friend or family member wants to surprise you, they will likely send a gift using an established service.
• Do not give your credit or debit card to someone at your door. Unless you requested the package and expected to pay something, you shouldn’t have a fee at delivery.
• Asking for ID is OK, but not a credit card. It is not out of the ordinary to ask for identification when alcohol is delivered, but the receiver would not be required to pay a fee to receive a gift.
• Look out for other variations. This isn’t the only delivery scam that pops up at this time of year. BBB has a warning about a number of holiday scams (bbb.org/holidayscams). Be alert!