Published On : Thu, Aug 25th, 2016

Citizens cautioned against door to door delivery scam

Scam Alert

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Nagpur: Among the various scams that have come to fore, a new one is taking rounds in the city too. This scam is actually very cleverly worked out that the victims will not suspect anything wrong.

The following is the modus operandi which is presented as it occurred to a victim.

On Wednesday a week ago, the victim had received a phone call from someone saying that he was from a company called “Express Couriers,” the caller asked if he was going to be home because there was a package for the victim that required a signature.

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

The courier replied that he does not know and that he is only delivering the package. The delivery man claimed that apparently the sender wanted to give the victim a surprise and a card would be sent separately. Incidentally it so happened that the victim’s birthday was on the way too, so the victim thought that the gift could be from a distant friend. There was also a consignment note with the gift.

The delivery man then went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol, there was a Rs 257.50 as 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 the victim offered to pay him cash. The delivery man then said that the delivery company required payment to be by credit or debit card only, so that everything is properly accounted for. The delivery man added they also don’t carry cash to avoid loss or likely targets for robbery.

The victim’s wife, who by this time standing beside him, pulled out her credit card, gave to him to swipe the card on a small mobile card machine with a small screen and keypad and asked to key in the verification code.

Frankly at this point the victim and his wife never suspected anything abnormal and a receipt was printed out and given to us, he then wished the victim and his wife good day and went off as normal. However, to the victim’s surprise, between Thursday and the following Monday, Rs 50,000 had been charged/withdrawn from their credit account from various ATM machines.

Apparently the “mobile credit card machine,” which the delivery man carried had all the info necessary to create a “dummy” card with all our card details, of course with the verification code.

Upon finding out about the illegal transactions on their card, the victim and his wife immediately notified the bank to stop payment, but already too late. When the victim and his wife went to make a Police report, he was told that quite a number of households had been similarly hit.

Beware 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 card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction!