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THERE’S an old saying – beware of Greeks bearing gifts. Well police are now warning householders to beware of any doorstep callers bearing gifts – in particular deliveries of wine and roses.
The warning comes after a couple in St. Albans had a phone call from someone claiming to be Express A Couriers asking if they were going to be home because there was a package for them, and the caller said that he delivery would arrive at their home in roughly an hour.
Sure enough, about an hour later, a delivery man turned up with a beautiful basket of flowers and wine. The householder was very surprised since it did not involve any special occasion or holiday, and they certainly were not expecting anything. Intrigued about who would send them such a gift, they inquired as to who the sender was.
The deliveryman said he was only delivering the gift package, But allegedly a card was being sent separately; (the card has never arrived!). There was also a consignment note with the gift and he then went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol, there was a £3.00 “delivery charge” as proof that he had actually delivered the package to an adult, and not just left it on the doorstep to just be stolen or taken by anyone.
This sounded logical and they offered to pay him cash. He then said that the company required the payment to be by credit or debit card so that everything is properly accounted for.
The husband, who, by this time, was standing beside his wife, pulled his debit card out of his wallet and ‘John’, the “delivery man”, asked the husband to swipe the card on the small mobile card machine which had a small screen and keypad where he was also asked to enter the card’s PIN and security number.
A receipt was printed out and given to them. To their surprise, between Thursday and the following Monday, £4,000 had been withdrawn from their account at various ATM machines, particularly in the Midlands area!
It appears that somehow the mobile credit card machine which the deliveryman carried was able to duplicate and create a “dummy” card with all their card details after the husband swiped their card and entered the requested PIN and security number.
After finding out it was an illegal transactions they immediately notified their bank and the account was closed.
They also personally went to the police, where it was confirmed that they had definitely been scammed because several households have been similarly hit.
This is a clever new ploy by fraudsters and police in the Midlands have warned other forces so they can put residents on alert.
Be wary of accepting any “surprise gift or package”, which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package. Also, never accept anything if you do not personally know or there is no proper identification of who the sender is.
Above all, the only time you should give out any personal credit/debit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction!