When Scammers Come Knocking at Your Door 1

When Scammers Come Knocking at Your Door

Aneth Ng-Lim

Posted at Jul 12 2021 12:15 PM

If you shop online and/or own a credit card, chances are you have received many warnings about being scammed. From phishing emails to SMS informing you of outrageous prizes or a direct appeal from a member of the royal family from the African continent, it’s sadly quite a long list. Each of these are designed to rob you of your money, and only your vigilance and street smarts can save you.

It’s easy enough to ignore emails and SMS, but what if the scammer comes knocking at your door? This is scary on so many levels, including the fact that they know you, where you live, and possibly even your phone number.

Our quiet neighborhood woke up to news last week that a rider attempted to drop off a Cash on Delivery parcel to one of the houses on our street. Good thing that at that time, the “receiver” was home and she knew that she did not order anything. She did not accept the package and took a photo of the waybill to document the “seller” information.

The delivery guy did not pose any objections, took back the package, and rode away on his motorcycle.

Our neighbor’s quick thinking saved her from paying P999 for a delivery request she did not make. She shared the news with the rest of the neighborhood so we can all be warned, and the tips shared in the group chat are quite good that I wanted to share them here so you too can be smarter than a scammer, and even help catch them and bring their unlawful activities to an end.

#1 Confirm any delivery with the “receiver”

If you have a big family, it is easy to just assume that an item being delivered to your house and correctly tagged with a relative’s name should be received. Stop right there. Even if they will not ask you to pay Cash on Delivery, it’s always a good thing to verify. If the “receiver” is at home, call him or her. If not, try to reach them via text or mobile. Only when confirmed should you take in the package and receive it, plus pay if needed.

#2 When “receiver” says no

If the “receiver” is not aware of the delivery, ask to see the package and take a photo of the waybill. This will have the information of both the “sender” and the “receiver”. Show if possible to the “receiver” as this may jog their memory. If still a No, inform the delivery guy that you cannot accept the delivery. If the rider is not part of the scam, he should take it back with no trouble and report to the office as an unsuccessful attempt. 

#3 Do not open the package

One neighbor said she was warned about opening unfamiliar packages. She heard of a victim where the rider advised him to pay and open the package to confirm the contents. Turns out, once you open, you cannot get a refund until you file a complaint through the online selling platform. When he opened it, the package was full of bubble wraps with no item inside. How can you claim a refund for all that air? As for the rider, he drove away with the cash. 

#4 Report to seller platform AND local authorities 

Thanks to the waybill, our neighbor found the store on Lazada and she promptly reported both the shop and incident. As of yesterday evening, still no response from the selling platform. On hindsight, one of the officers of our neighborhood association advised that next time, we should also alert our security and report to the barangay if needed. Some riders may be innocent and are just delivering the parcels, but in the event they are conspiring with the scammers, then the authorities can take over.

#5 Guard your personal information

More than the possible loss of P999, what was really alarming here is that the “seller” knew the details of the “receiver”. Her name, address and number were all listed correctly in the waybill. Considering she is very cautious (she shreds all the waybills in her past delivered packages), how the leak happened came as a nasty surprise. Be careful how and where you share your personal information, and this is a good time to review your privacy settings on your social media accounts. 

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Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.