Scams are everywhere, and they're becoming harder to spot.
For instance, you may get a phone call that could start with a very common four-word phrase -- “Can you hear me?” -- or some variation of that phrase, and then you answer “Yes.”
Just by answering with that one word, you have now put yourself at risk for fraud.
Scams pop up in your inboxes, over the phone, and now even in your mailbox. The latest scam that has been reported by NBC Portland starts off in an apparently harmless way: a FedEx package in your mailbox.
Sounds crazy, right?
This scam is quite simple. You receive a FedEx delivery.
Now, if you’re an online shopper receiving a FedEx delivery, it appears to be business as usual. You’ll sign for the package or find it on your doorstep.
When you open it though, you won’t find those new leggings you ordered. Instead, there will be a check inside made out to someone else and maybe a prepaid address label that has been made out to that same person.
That’s all that will be in the box. There will be no instructions.
Dorathy DeWitt, a resident of Portland, Oregon, received a delivery just like this from FedEx earlier this month and decided to reach out to the construction company that had supposedly made out the check.
“I figured it was a fluke,” she told NBC KGW Portland. “I was just going to send it back and they said, 'No, it was a scam!'”
The construction company that had been named on the check has reported receiving 15 calls from people all over the U.S. inquiring about them.
DeWitt said she has received three more packages just like this, and all the packages she received had her Portland address, but the checks were actually addressed to different people all across the country. One of the fraudulent checks and prepaid labels was intended for a woman in New Jersey, and another included the name and address of a man in Delaware.
“I’ve never heard of these names before,” DeWitt told reporters.
This isn’t actually the first time this scam has occurred. Back in 2012, residents in Virginia where receiving both FedEx and Priority Mail packages that been stuffed with checks. College student Robie Thacker knew something wasn’t right when she received a check in the mail for over $3,000 and contacted her bank as well as police.
So, if you receive a FedEx box and you aren’t expecting anything from Amazon on an early birthday gift from grandma, proceed with caution and alert the police because it could be a scam.
According to KGW, the scammers and their intentions are unknown.
What’s obvious, however, is that the packaging was chosen artfully and used to serve as some sort of smokescreen to hide the true nature of the box’s contents.
Currently, the Federal Trade Commission is looking into the complaint. Hopefully, the culprits behind this scam will be caught.
Banner/thumbnail image credit: Flickr user frankieleon