Caution it the proper warning when a free gift shows up at your door. The latest scam to fleece you of your cash may come in the form of a gift. And it looks real.
Many, in various parts of the country, have learned that free may not be free at all.
Savvy con-men have developed a new and ingenious way to steal.
Here is a quick look
The mark, (victim) receives a phone call from a package delivery service. The caller explains that a delivery is scheduled at the victim’s address in the next hour. The time frame may vary, but the delivery is imminent.
The caller explains that a signature is required. If the party to receive the delivery is not at home, the delivery would be rescheduled. The call is courteous and professional.
Reports indicate that this initial call would convince anyone to expect a delivery soon.
That is exactly what happens. Within the time frame given, a courier vehicle arrives at our victim’s home. A uniformed driver carries a package to the front door.
It is reported that the parcel is a gift that will include a bottle of wine. Often another product, such as candy or flowers is included.
The delivery person states that a signature is required. There is no card and the delivery person explains that a second note will likely be delivered the following day, identifying the sender of the gift.
Then the driver explains that because the package contains an adult beverage, a small fee must be collected. It is a method of confirming the delivery was accepted by someone of legal age.
The fee is small. Often just three dollars. The delivery person explains that they carry no cash and can not accept cash. The policy is to protect the customer from the abuse of increased fees on the part of an unscrupulous delivery person. ie, collecting ten dollars rather than the required three dollars.
The payment must be made with a debit or credit card.
The delivery driver provides a small device for the customer to swipe their card. The gift is delivered and the driver leaves.
Over the next 48 hours, hundreds of dollars are charged to the card used to accept the gift. If a debit card is used, the account suffers substantial cash withdrawals.
The whole scam occurs as if it’s a normal delivery.
Drivers are polite, clean and uniformed. The delivery vehicle is easily identified as being consistent with a package delivery.
Here are the red flags
- There is no note or card identifying the sender
- The gift is not associated with any special event
- The gift requires a payment
- A credit or debit card must be swiped or scanned
When a card is scanned or swiped, all of the data contained on the magnetic strip is read by the device. It is possible to also collect or record all the data. That includes any PIN associated with the account. See our post on skimming
If the card is a debit card, the PIN is collected when the victim is asked to enter their PIN.
It has been reported that the customer is asked to ‘punch in’ a PIN during the above described transaction. That would be normal when using a debit card.
How The Crook Uses Your Data
Using the victims data, the thieves quickly create a new card. All the victims account information is placed on the new card’s magnetic strip on the back of the card.
The name that appears on the front is not the victims. It is a false name to match the the identification of the user who will fraudulently use the card to buy goods or access ATMs. The items they buy can be resold for cash.
Multiple cards with multiple fraudulent users can be created. The amount of the loss can be enormous.
The creativity of crooks is amazing. If there is a way to steal, someone will think of it. The need to protect yourself from fraud is never ending.
Be extremely cautious when asked for your credit card. These crooks are very good at what they do. They can convince even the most cautious.
Be sure to read our report on email scams to steal your data. Here is the link
Questions or Comments? Leave a note in the comments section below.