Robert Wilharm wasn’t expecting a package Wednesday so he was surprised when he noticed one about 30 feet from his front door by his mailbox. He brought it inside and saw it was addressed to him. When he opened it up, he didn’t know what to think. Inside was an expensive piece of medical equipment, a scale of some type. He saw a receipt inside the box saying he had purchased it for almost $1,300.
“And like I told the people when I called them I might buy a scale for 13 dollars but not 1300,” said Wilharm.
But when he checked his bank account, he found the money was indeed gone. He’s not sure how a crook got his personal information but knows that someone did and knew his home address.
So, he’s sitting in his home with these medical scale trying to figure out what to do. Then something else happened. “It hadn’t been 30 minutes from the time I brought the box in the house until FedEx came here to pick it up,” he said.
Huh? That’s right, whoever the crook is had actually scheduled a pick up at Wilharm’s home. Wilharm assumes the scammer had the tracking number from UPS (how the box was delivered from the medical vendor.) “They probably checked and found out that the box was here and then they ordered FedEx to come and get it,” he says.
Wilharm says whatever address FedEx was given was likely where the scammer was located. He informed FedEx that he had not ordered the pick up. He kept the box and will be able to return the scale and get his money back.
But the Better Business Bureau says he may need to do more. “There’s an Identity Theft issue right off the bat,” says Tom Stephens,
Stephens suggested that Wilharm file a police report and cancel his accounts. “You know cancel that account, cancel that debit card and get a new one issued and I would move all that money over to a new account because if they got it once they’ll get it again,” he said.
The BBB also suggests checking your bank account at least once a week and reading all credit card statements carefully. Finally, it says consumers in Georgia can now get three free credit reports per year and may want to take advantage of that.
We check with FedEx for advice it may have on something like this situation. A spokesman emailed us saying the company always recommends that if someone suspects any type of criminal behavior involving package shipments to notify local law enforcement. And to notify FedEx as well.
With holidays approaching, FedEx also addressed the concerns many consumers have about legitimate packages being sent to their home. It suggests using the option of having your packages held at a local FedEx location for you to pick up or to have them sent to work or to a relative or neighbor who may be home during the day.