Delivery scams are nothing new, but this twist certainly is.

Who Is It Targeting: Homeowners or residents

What Is It: Credit card theft via delivery

What Are They After: This scam is highly involved, and actually comes across as very trustworthy. After a message or call that a delivery man is on his way over with your package, the doorbell rings. A courier is standing there holding something like a floral arrangement, a gift bag, or some other item, along with a bottle of wine. The courier explains that there’s a tiny charge for the delivery to serve as proof that it was signed for by someone over the age of 21, as it contains alcohol.

That sounds plausible, even if it’s out of the ordinary. Next, the delivery man claims he’s not allowed to accept cash due to company policy about the couriers carrying money, but rather asks for a credit card or debit card. He presents a mobile card reader device, you swipe your card, and you even get a receipt for the small charge.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t charging your card with that device…he was copying it. One victim of this scam had their bank account drained of more than $4,000 after falling for it.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Never make payment for a delivery you weren’t expecting.
  • If you must pay a surcharge, get the information and contact the company before paying.
  • If anyone ever requires a specific form of payment, it could still be genuine but should certainly raise some red flags.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from Patch.com.