Who doesn’t want to receive a “surprise” package shipped to their door step this time of year?
But be warned, scammers play on that sentiment when they call people about a bogus delivery – and one Fruitvale senior is warning others that crooks are indeed targeting locals.
The story begins when the local woman, who asked for privacy, received a phone call – supposedly from FedEx Canada – Friday afternoon.
“I answered the phone and my radar when up right away because, first of all, it was a number I didn’t recognize from out-of-town,” she began. “The person had a foreign accent, and that also put my radar up.”
The caller advised the lady that a FedEx parcel would be delivered to their home on Monday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., but the package had to be signed for.
“It was for my husband, only for my husband, they had his full name, our street number in Fruitvale, and our postal code,” she explained. “They rhymed it all off, and were checking to see if that was the correct address and to ask if he would be home.”
As her husband had a previous appointment, the woman told the caller she would be home to sign for the package.
That’s when the caller began asking for her identification, including an email address and cell phone number.
“I said, “Thank you very much,” and hung up,” she replied.
First, she texted her son, who lives in Toronto, to ask if he had sent a parcel. His answer was a resounding “no.”
Then using call display, the Fruitvale senior did a little investigation of her own.
She found the number originated from the Toronto area, and surprisingly, it matched a FedEx phone number listed in the Yellow Pages.
“It was exactly the same number, so I phoned FedEx and told them my story,” she said. “They said they were very sorry, had already had numerous calls on this, and that their IT (security) was working to try and solve it – they didn’t know how (the scammers) could do this.”
Finally, the senior contact the Greater Trail RCMP detachment to give police the heads up.
“They hadn’t heard about this one, but she said they get many calls like this,” the woman concluded. “But they wouldn’t be phoning (contacting media) because if they did that every time they received a report like this, they’d be phoning the paper every day.”
Notably, if a person really does miss a delivery, the FedEx driver will leave a ticket at the door to arrange for a later delivery or provide information about where the package can be picked up.
FedEx advises anyone expecting a parcel who may have a legitimate delivery concern, to contact the company directly using verifiable contact information.