London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH and ALIA HELLZ BACHELL
A Facebook user has put out a warning on the social media site about an alleged card-cloning scam being perpetrated in the London area using the delivery of parcels to people’s addresses as a cover, the Half-Eaten Mind exclusively reports.
The user, Chris Gladman, first shared the warning on the 6th December, 2015 and it is now going viral. In his letter, Gladman reports the experience of a victim of the scam who received a phone call from an individual purporting to be from a delivery company named “Express Couriers”. The scammer asked the victim if they were going to be present at their home to sign for a package in their name and told them that the package would arrive in an hour.
In the incident, which was said to have occurred on the Wednesday preceding Gladman’s letter, a uniformed delivery man arrived at the victim’s house within the hour with a package said to contain flowers and a bottle of wine, which confused the victim as there was no special occasion and they were not expecting any such deliveries.
The victim inquired as to the sender’s identity, but the delivery worker claimed to not know who sent the gifts and that they were only delivering the parcel. The delivery worker did however claim that a card would be sent separately, and the victim also is said to have discovered a consignment invoice along with the gifts. Gladman reports that the card never in fact came.
The delivery worker then went on to tell the victim that the gift would be charged to them at a fee of £3.50 as it had contained alcohol and they needed to confirm that the package was not being delivered to a minor, and to prevent the package from being left on the property where it could be stolen.
The victim offered to pay in cash, but the delivery person insisted that all payments be made by credit or debit card for legal and safety reasons. The victim, satisfied with the explanation, is said to have then got her husband, who was now on the scene, to pay the fee with his card. The delivery worker, who claimed his name was John, then produced a card payment device with a ‘small screen and keypad’. The victim’s husband entered his PIN and collected a receipt of payment for the mysterious parcel. The delivery driver then left the premises after wishing them good day.
A few days later, Gladman said that the couple found that £4,000 in total had been stolen from the husband’s account from several ATMs, and he surmises that the card payment machine was in fact a cloning device that skimmed off the data stored on the victim’s husband’s card, and combined with the entered PIN, was used by the fraudsters to steal money from the couple.
The couple reported the incident to their bank and to the local police, who are said to have confirmed that similar scams by Express Couriers were already known to them.
At the end of the letter, Gladman warns others to be vigilant about receiving strange parcels from delivery companies they have never heard of. He said “Be wary 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/debit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction!”
There has been no official statement from the police or other agencies regarding such a scam in the London area, but people are advised as a matter of course to always be aware and careful of unknown visitors to their home.
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