A scammer used debit card information gleaned during delivery of unordered 'gifts' to make unauthorized ATM withdrawals.
A victim’s account of a delivery courier scam above began circulating on the Internet in
I want to let you all know that Frank and I have been the victims of credit card fraud this week and felt I should warn you all about the clever scam. It works like this:
Last Wednesday I had a phone call late morning from Express Couriers to ask if I was going to be home as he had a delivery for me. He said he would there in roughly an hour. He turned up with a beautiful basket of flowers and wine. I expressed my surprise as I wasn’t expecting anything like this and said I was intrigued to know who was sending me such a lovely gift. He said he was only delivering the gift and the card was being sent separately (the card has never arrived).
There was a consignment note with the gift.
He went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol he has to charge the recipient $3.50 as proof that he has actually delivered to an adult, and not left it on a door step if the recipient is out, to be stolen or taken by children.
This seemed logical and I offered to get the cash. He then said that the company required the payment to be by Eftpos (short for Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) so he’s not handling cash and everything is properly accounted for.
Frank was there and got his credit card and ‘John’ swiped the card on this small mobile machine that also had a small screen upon which Frank entered in his pin number. A receipt was printed out and given to us.
Between last Thursday and Monday $4,000 was withdrawn from our credit account at ATM machines in the north shore area. It appears a dummy credit card was made using the details in the machine and of course, they had Frank’s pin number.
The Bank has stopped our cards and I’ve been to the Police this morning, where they confirmed that it is a definite scam and many households were hit during the first
3 daysof October.
So PLEASE be wary of accepting a gift you’re not expecting especially if the card is not with it. We’ve all received gifts like this and would never dream that it could be such a despicable act.
While many of the forwards later identified the fraud as having “occurred in the North Vancouver Area” or “happened to our friend who lives in North Vancouver,” in actuality the crime took place in Sydney, Australia, between
During that brief span, the thief, posing as a delivery man bearing flowers and wine, robbed ten Sydney residents of $32,000. As described in the
The robber was apprehended a few weeks later during a traffic stop on the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway and charged with ten counts of fraud.
This account led to the spread of a warning that was oft-repeated on the Internet:
WARNING: 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 and/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! NEVER SWIPE YOUR CREDIT CARD ON ANY MACHINE UNLESS THE FIRM IS KNOWN TO YOU.
A Word to Our Loyal Readers
Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.
- David Mikkelson
- Doreen Marchionni
- David Emery
- Bond Huberman
- Jordan Liles
- Alex Kasprak
- Dan Evon
- Dan MacGuill
- Bethania Palma
- Liz Donaldson
- Vinny Green
- Ryan Miller
- Chris Reilly
- Chad Ort
- Elyssa Young
Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.
We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.
Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.