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 doorbell 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!
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