Courier scams or phishing is a newer type of scam that is causing more and more problems for people and courier drivers. Often, a fraudster will call a victim and trick that person into packaging money or valuables, then call a courier driver and have the driver pick up the parcel and deliver it to the client. Or, the fraudster may trick the victim into believing that their banking information is compromised and make them give their PIN number or credit card information or the actual cad to a courier for the replacement of a ‘new’ one. To avoid becoming a part of a scam, keep in mind the following advice.
Work with an Established Company
Always conduct business with reputable companies. Prior to accepting employment at an organisation, be sure to research it diligently to see if there are any past delinquencies, lawsuits or any red flags. If possible, talk to current and previous employers as well as drivers who have been in the industry and are familiar with various businesses. Also, research the company’s clientele to see if they are reputable businesses and how long they have maintained a partnership. Try to look for work with businesses that have been established for a few years and that have strict policies and qualifications for their employees. In addition, your employer should also have a policy in place in regards to taking customers card numbers and money.
If a company does not require drivers to be of a certain age, present a valid driver’s licence or perform background check or require insurance, then there should be a cause for concern. When looking for courier jobs online, be aware of postings that ask for an application fee or that require you to pay to conduct business for them. Also, look out for those that pay by the hour instead of by the mile. Businesses that offer extremely high pay for simple jobs or for very little work are often scams. Lastly, if something looks too good to be true, it most likely is.
If a job seems suspicious or you have any hesitations about a delivery or pick-up, tell someone. Ask to look into the query and the client’s background. Call both the courier driver service and the client for confirmation. If they think you are asking too many questions or are suspicious, without providing answers, then they may be conducting fraudulent activity. When in doubt, contact the police if you think you are being drawn into a scam.
Many businesses may offer, or require, their employees to take fraud educational courses. If not, you should take the course on your own, so that you know what to look out for and how to spot courier fraudsters. There are also several resources that help couriers and citizens alike spot frauds. For example, codforum.org.uk, often posts recent scams that have been reported as well as inactive scams such as job postings for courier drivers.
Look out for Suspicious Situations
If a client seems suspicious of you being there, is hesitant about giving you a parcel or is willing to give you his or her banking information, this is a cause for concern. Ask the person questions regarding the job and contact your company for confirmation. Look out for elderly citizens, as they are often the prime targets of courier fraud. Other signs to look out for include vague addresses or non-descript locations and deliveries to a parked car or a roadside delivery. Also be aware of deliveries to extremely far locations or a drop-off location that keeps changing.