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Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.


Holiday Package Scams

Dec 25

Holiday Package Scams

During Christmas, I receive gifts from family members and friends by package delivery.  It’s exciting when you open the door and notice a person wearing a brown uniform requesting a signature from you before they hand you the gift.

However, during one of the busiest times of the year for sending and receiving packages, you should watch out for package delivery scams.  Identity thieves have figured out a deceptive way to steal people’s identities with this tactic.

How this scheme works is you receive an email from what appears to be from a shipping company notifying you a family or friend has sent you a gift by mail, but the catch is that you need to pay for the shipping by providing your personal information and one of your credit card numbers. Clearly, this is not the way true delivery services operate. 

Whenever I have sent gifts by mail, I have never been asked for the recipient’s email address.  The only information I would have to provide is the receiver’s mailing address and, in some cases, phone number.  In addition, the person delivering the gift would be the one paying for the shipping costs.

If you happen to receive an email notifying you a package is to be delivered to you and requesting your personal information, here are few tips to consider before providing it:

1. It is best that you call the shipping company to verify if they have a package waiting for you.

2. Before responding to an email notice, you should research the delivery company if they use this method.

3. Check the company’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office. If it seems suspicious, don’t trust it.

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