Who doesn’t get excited to receive a holiday package?
Well now, the scammers are giving us reason to watch out for the “delivery scam.”
The Better Business Bureau Serving Detroit & Eastern Michigan is warning that some scammers are trying to collect money — and worse yet, your credit card or debit card numbers — when they deliver a gift basket to your door.
The scam goes like this: The phone might ring in advance to alert you to an upcoming delivery or maybe the doorbell rings out of the blue. A delivery person brings a box or gift basket to the door but then the delivery person says you must pay a nominal fee to receive the item.
The delivery person then claims they only take a credit card or debit card and then produces a hand held scanner. It’s even worse: The scanner would then collect the card number and security code. The con artists would use this information to make unauthorized charges or commit identity theft.
Melanie Duquesnel, president and CEO of the BBB Serving Detroit & Eastern Michigan, said in some cases the delivery is for a gift basket that contains wine or beer and the delivery person says they need to verify the age of the person receiving the basket. They might ask for your credit card or driver’s license.
“They’re swiping the information,” Duquesnel said. “People are handing over their cards and they are essentially getting hacked face to face.”
She said the BBB heard of a report of such a scam — which the person did not fall for — in the Grand Rapids area in the past few days. But there have been reports out of Alabama and Georgia of this similar scam, she said.
Never, of course, give your credit card or debit card information to someone at the door.
The holiday season is full of all sorts of potential delivery scams. We’re told to beware of packages being stolen from our porches or near the door. We’re also warned of fake emails that can lead to trouble, too.
The Federal Trade Commission has warned about phone “delivery failure notification” emails that can make the rounds during the holiday season. The email might look like its from the U.S. Postal Service and say you missed a delivery. But the trouble is the message will include more links to click for details. And here’s where you’d end up with a virus or malware on your computer if you’d click on a link or download the attachment.
FedEx warns on its web site that such fraudulent emails can contain the subject lines “Shipping Conformation,” “Verify Info,” “Some important information is missing” and “Please fulfill the documents attached to verify your identity.”
Again, that phony email may have an attached file that may contain a virus or other malware.
Duquesnel said the phony delivery-related emails are likely to run fairly steady this holiday season after so many people bought gifts online on Cyber Monday and during what’s become Cyber Week.
“It’s holiday time — so everybody ordered online,” she said. “You need to be very wary.”
She recommends not clicking on any links. If you want, copy a number and go directly to the FedEx site to track the package.