Don’t let scammers ruin your Christmas

With only days until Christmas, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning consumers to watch out for fake delivery scams arriving in your inbox or post box.

“Australians send and receive millions of parcels at Christmas time. If you are expecting a parcel to give as a gift to family or friends, or expect to receive one, it’s important to watch out for these scams,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Unfortunately, the number of people falling for this scam is on the rise with losses totalling $30,000 reported this year and almost 300 complaints, which is almost double the amount of last year’s money loss and contacts.

Scammers contact unwitting victims posing as employees from a legitimate parcel delivery service. They claim to have made an unsuccessful attempt to deliver a package to your address and offer to redeliver at a convenient time in exchange for a fee, usually ranging from $10 to $30.

These fraudsters use this ruse to trick you into handling over personal details such as your credit card or bank account numbers. Once they have that information, they can defraud you.

“If you pay a scammer, all they will deliver is a hole in your bank account and put your personal information is at risk. In particular, warning bells should ring louder than jingle bells if they suggest international wire transfers as chances are you will never see your money again,” Ms Rickard said.

“If you are suspicious about a ‘missed’ parcel delivery, call the company directly to verify that the correspondence is genuine. Independently source the contact details through an internet search or phone book – do not rely on numbers provided.”

“Keep in mind that you, or the purchaser, are likely to have already paid any costs associated with delivery. If you think you have provided your banking or credit card details to a scammer contact your bank or financial institution immediately,” Ms Rickard said.