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  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , USPS   

    How scammers use the post office to steal from you 

    By Greg Collier

    The US Post Office does a lot to try to prevent their system from being used for fraudulent purposes. The United States Postal Inspection Service is the law enforcement arm of the USPS, and they do a lot to investigate and prevent mail fraud. Unfortunately, with the way the mail system in the US has become automated, scammers have taken advantage of the modern conveniences of the postal system. Here is just one of the ways scammers use the post office to separate you from your money.

    In Idaho, a man ordered some gardening supplies from a random website. The man used PayPal to pay for the items that only amounted to around $45. A week went by and the man did not receive the items he ordered. He tried contacting the seller but received no response. He then tried filing a complaint with PayPal. At first, his request was denied because the seller provided PayPal with a USPS tracking number showing that the item was delivered. The supposed delivery was sent close to the man’s address. Typically, in postal scams like this, the victim will be sent an empty box or be sent an item that’s well below the value of the item they ordered. The man was eventually able to get a refund from PayPal, but it took him a month to do so. Again, that’s more the exception than the rule.

    When ordering online from a small or unfamiliar business online, your best bet is to use a credit card instead of a payment app like PayPal. While there are advantages to using services like PayPal, they do not offer the same protections that a credit card does. And again, when making a purchase from an unfamiliar website, do some research first to see if the website has any fraud complaints against it before making any purchases. While this purchase may have been a negligible amount, if enough people fall for the scam the small amounts can add up quickly.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , USPS   

    The delivery text message scam returns 

    The delivery text message scam returns

    By Greg Collier

    Last year, we discussed the delivery text messaging scam both pre- and post-pandemic. How the scam worked in the past was you’d receive a text message informing you that something you ordered online couldn’t be delivered, and you need to update your preferred delivery method. A link would be provided for you to confirm your delivery.

    If you clicked the link, you’d have been taken to a phony Amazon page where you’d be asked for your login information. The fake Amazon page will then ask you to fill out a customer service survey in order to claim a prize. After you win the prize, you’ll be asked to pay for shipping by providing your financial information. In essence, scammers just stole your Amazon login along with your credit or debit card info. Put those two things together and victims of the scam could be looking at some expensive purchases on their Amazon account with their own payment information with the actual items being sent to some scammer. In other cases, victims were signed up for a subscription service that charged their card $100 every month.

    Now, the scam seems to have returned with a twist. Previously, the texts would appear like they’re coming from UPS, FedEx, DHL, and Amazon. More recently, the text messages appear like they’re coming from the United States Postal Service. This new version of the scam has been popping up all over the country as we have seen reports from New York, Texas, and South Dakota just to name a few.

    Please keep in mind that no delivery service nor the USPS will ever text you out of the blue. These companies cannot text you unless you sign up for their text service first. Plus if these services did text you, the texts would not include a scammy looking link.

    If you receive a text that looks like the image above or something similar, just delete it. The best way to handle scammers is to not engage with them whatsoever.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: change of address, , , USPS, vehicle history reports   

    Three new scams to watch out for 

    Three new scams to watch out for

    We just recently came across three new scams that we hadn’t heard of before. While we’re not the ultimate authority on scams, we have been keeping our eyes on scams for a long time now.

    The first scam we have for you today involves change of address forms. If you’re moving soon you’ll have to notify the U.S. Postal Service of your new address. You can do this at your local Post Office or online. If you’re going to complete your change of address online make sure that you’re only using the official USPS website. If you were to do a web search for ‘address change’ it may direct you to a website that has no affiliation with the USPS. Instead, if you enter your information on the non-USPS site you could potentially be giving your information to identity thieves. Also, a change of address with the USPS is free. If a site tries to charge you for this, it’s definitely a scam.

    In our next scam, the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about receiving a text message that says you’ve been overcharged. The texts try to appear as if they’re coming from your bank, your credit card company, or somewhere you shop often. The scammers will then tell you that they need more information to process your ‘refund’ like your mother’s maiden name or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. These are actually answers to security questions used to access your online accounts. If you receive a text or call asking for this information do not answer them. Instead, call your bank directly to make sure that your accounts are in order.

    Lastly for today, if you’re looking to sell your vehicle online, you’ll often be asked to provide a vehicle history report for the vehicle. The most commonly used vehicle history reports are Carfax and AutoCheck. Some car sellers have reported that they’ve been getting messages from people posing as interested customers asking for vehicle history reports that they’ve never heard of before. The scammers will then direct the sellers to a certain website. These websites are mostly designed to try to get your money for a bogus car history or could be used for identity theft or infect your device with malware. As a seller, you’re not required to provide a vehicle history from a specified website. The ones that we’ve already mentioned are not only legitimate but should satisfy most legitimate buyers.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , USPS   

    Is your city in the porch pirates’ top 10? 

    Is your city in the porch pirates' top 10?

    Another type of Grinch that wants to ruin your holiday season is the heartless porch pirate. This is the term used for thieves who will steal package deliveries straight from your porch or mailbox. With more and more people eschewing brick and mortar stores for online Christmas shopping, the problem of stolen packages is becoming more and more prevalent. It’s gotten so bad that there’s not a lot of what police departments can do once a package is stolen. If you’ve had a package stolen from your porch, you may think that your city is the worst. However, a study done by a home security company claims to have found the top ten cities where porch pirates are most prolific.

    According to home security company Safewise, they have looked at not only FBI statistics but also web searches for things like stolen or missing packages. They’ve determined that the top ten cities and metro areas for porch pirates are San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Portland, Baltimore, Seattle-Tacoma, Chicago, Austin, Denver, L.A., and Sacramento. Not surprisingly, a number of these cities are large tech hubs where more people tend to buy things online than in stores. Also, California is more represented on this list than any other state.

    It’s better to prevent porch theft than it is to try to recover a stolen package. While a doorbell camera or home security camera may catch the thieves in the act, it doesn’t seem to discourage them from stealing your deliveries. Instead of having packages left at your doorstep, you may want to consider having them delivered to your place of work, or to a neighbor’s house who is home more often. With their permission, of course. You may also want to consider renting a post office box at your local mail supply store. Not only does this give you a street address to use for deliveries, but they can also sign for packages for you. If you’re having an item shipped directly, try to have it delivered at a time when someone will definitely be home. Also, the US Postal Service has many free services available to you to prevent porch piracy such as having your mail held so you can pick it up at the post office.

    Just a few preventative steps will help you have a theft-free Christmas.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on December 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Informed Delivery, , , USPS   

    Help prevent porch pirates with this free service 

    Help prevent porch pirates with this free service

    Mail theft is an ongoing problem that has been on the rise over the past decade with the increase in online purchasing. These thieves have been dubbed ‘porch pirates’ for the way they pilfer packages that have been left on your porch or doorstep by your mail carrier. Even if you have the latest security or doorbell cameras, that might not be enough as in some locales police might not have the time and manpower to pursue any purloined packages. However, you don’t have to go as far as building your own NASA-engineered glitter bomb to help prevent package theft, but you can sign up for a free prevention service provided by the US Postal Service.

    USPS provides a service known as Informed Delivery service. All you need to do is to go to the USPS website and sign up for the service. It only takes a few minutes to register your address. Once registered, the USPS will start providing you with emails that contained scanned copies of the mail you’ll be receiving that day. That way you can be on the lookout for important and valuable mail and have a record of it in case it turns up missing.

    However, as shown by the video above, porch pirates can use this service to their advantage as well. If they’ve signed up for the service in your name, the emails from the USPS could be sent to thief’s email instead of yours. As has been mentioned, this service provided by the Post Office is free and could save you from a potentially disastrous situation. Isn’t that worth the price of just a few extra emails a week? It’s not just good for the holiday season but for all year-long.

     
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