Scams establish themselves on innocuity. For example, you may get a phone call that startswith this common four-word phrase and think nothing of it, but you’d be putting yourself at risk for fraud. And this latest scam reported by NBC Portland starts off in a seemingly harmless way, with a simple FedEx package in your mailbox.
The scam is fairly simple; you would receive a FedEx delivery same as always. The delivery man won’t be three kids in a trench coat or anything and the FedEx logo won’t look like a cheap knockoff (here’s where you can learn the quirky messages behind the FedEx logo and other company logos, if you’re interested). You’ll sign for the package or find it on your doorstep.
Inside, the package will be a check made out to someone else and possibly a prepaid address label made out to the same person. There will be no instructions.
Dorathy DeWitt of Portland, Oregon received one of these packages and reached out to the construction company that had made out the check.
“I figured it was a fluke,” said DeWitt, “I was just going to send it back and they said, ‘No, it was a scam!’”
DeWitt has received three similar packages in the past month, all addressed to different people across the country. One of the construction companies named on the check reported receiving 15 calls from all over the country inquiring about the checks. This isn’t the first time this has happened, either.
In the age of convenience born by Amazon Prime, it’s not surprising that a mail package-based scam is gaining prevalence. Even the packaging itself is artfully chosen, using the reliability and familiarity of one of the largest and most recognizable package companies to serve as a sort of smokescreen for the truly nefarious nature of its contents.
The intent of the scam is currently unclear. The Federal Trade Commission is currently looking into the complaint. Outside of mail fraud, hackers may be trying to reach right at your desk.