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 Has anybody heard of this?

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scrappinsally
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
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Location: Your mom's house


PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Something else new that mom just told me about...
It really sounds weird and I don't know what in the heck it could be about.

First things first. She told me that somewhere around a year ago one of her internet friends (scammers) was mailing large boxes to her and told her not to open them. Then he would mail her shipping labels to put on the box and ship to nigeria. She was being their mule, no doubt. She said that she started wondering what was in the boxes so she finally opened one and it was kids shoes, so she didn't think anymore about it and kept doing it for the guy.
He started sending around 4-5 boxes a week. Well, the post office called the police, and they showed up at mom's door. They told her that whatever was going on needed to stop. They didn't get into a big stink about it, just told her to stop and she did.

Now, to this new thing that's going on.
This guy that claims he's from california, and just in nigeria right now working (yeah, right) keeps sending her shirts. One or two at a time, just plain men's t shirts brand new and in plastic. Differen colors and some are medium, some are large. They are from the gap and old navy. I went over there and looked at the box, and the return address is the gap and old navy return center. She said he's sending anywhere from 1-3 boxes a week. He hasn't asked her to mail them anywhere, and he hasn't told her not to open the boxes. She hasn't worn any of the shirts or even taken them out of the plastic. The boxes come sometimes UPS and sometimed FedEx.
And so far this guy hasn't asked her for any money. He just keeps sending her shirts. She actually even told him to quit sending them because she dosen't wear men's tshirts, but he keeps sending them.

I don't know what to make of this. Should she go to the nearest dumpster and get rid of them or what?

Ideas?
Thanks,
Sally
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manbiteslion
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Keep a hold of them, they'll be stolen from somewhere, or use stolen card details, or something. Likely it's an overpayment scam of some sort, perhaps from a catalogue or something?!

It may be worth letting The Gap know, it may throw some light onto their processes and help them stop the scam?

Anyway, keep a hold of them as whoever is being fleeced will probably be grateful of some goods back at least.

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Raga Man
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It might be worth talking to the post office and police. If the PO was concerned enough about what was going on to get the police involved, there must have been some sort of criminal activity. If either the PO or the police would share their concerns with you, it could shed a lot of light on what this scam is and how it works.

The other thing that strikes me about all this is that once a scammer identifies a victim as compliant as your Mom, that vic becomes the target for all manner of evil attention. These scammers are like a freakin' DISEASE!

Keep scrappin', Sally (sorry, couldn't resist) Very Happy

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manbiteslion
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Of course - isn't postal crime like a federal offence or something in the US?

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Dr_Pimper
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

With regards to the OP, that certainly is unusual.

My dad is a lawyer and had to represent a client who fell victim to a scam and was charged for possession of stolen goods. But in this poor guy's case he was just shipping the goods that the scum lads were sending him, not receiving them for himself.

My guess is that they are trying to ship the shirts to her in anticipation of using her as a mule to ship them. Or they may be trying to send the shirts to her as some ill-conceived 'gift'.

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hoorah
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ Yeah, thats pretty much it. They're bought using stolen CCs and then they want her to mail them off to Nigeria. The best thing to do is actually refuse them when they are delivered. That way, the packages arrive back at the online retailer that sent them, the retailer says "WTF?" and starts looking into the order, realizing its fraud.

When this kind of crime happens, its usually the retailer that ends up paying for it (if the victim notices the charges and calls the CC company). So, you'd be doing the merchant a huge favor.

If the victim doesnt know their card is stolen, the merchant may figure it out and report the card stolen for them. When I worked in online retail fraud, I did that alot.

I would say that if he's sending her shipping labels to ship them rocks or something, but they're probably being paid for out of someone else's hacked fedex account, so maybe she should just not send anything.

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thud419
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

My guess, and it's only a guess, is that there is a broken connection somewhere in lad-land. The guy who is ordering stuff on bad credit-cards is not aware that your mom has stopped shipping.

I'd agree that she wants to start refusing to accept the goods, in order to minimise the damage, and keep the ones she already has in their present condition. At some point you may want to let Gap and Old Navy know what is going on, but you may want to do that through a lawyer and have all the evidence to hand. If you go about it the wrong way or use the wrong words, all sorts of people could jump to all sorts of wrong conclusions.

It may be useful to talk to the policemen that told her to stop shipping the boxes. You may find out more that way. Of course you could end up opening that can of worms but it sounds like they understood what was going on before.

Edit: The video to watch for this one is Chris Hansen's "To Catch an ID Thief"
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17805134/

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scrappinsally
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:40 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Good ideas everyone. I called mom and told her to immediately start refusing packages. I told her for now to hang on to the shirts until we can figure out who the best person is to talk to. I really hate the fact that she gave them her address and let them mail crap to her. Now if it does wind up being drugs or whatever the case, and she has stopped shipping, what if they come to her house to get the stuff that they already sent her? They have no other way of contacting her unless they just show up at her house because I had her phone number changed and cut off their email communication.

Maybe I should just take the shirts to the cops and give them a run down on what's been going on and let them deal with it.

Sally
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hoorah
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ The cops won't know or care what to do with them. At the end of the day, there will only be three things in front of them - stolen property, the word fraud, and you. Trying to explain it any further than that is usually futile, and they will assume you or your mother were doing it on purpose. Its frustrating, but its the way it is.

Best thing to do would be to refuse new packages, call the companies that sent the packages you already have and ask them to pick them up, and just hang on to the merchandise without opening it in case anyone asks. Try to get at least ONE company to pickup merchandise that was sent - that way, if it ever comes down to it, your lawyer can show you were trying to do the right thing.

Don't worry about the scammers trying to get the items. These things get busted on them all the time - they just move on to the next one.

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scrappinsally
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

good point hoorah, and it would be exactly my luck that I'd be the one in trouble instead of anybody else! Shocked
I think I will call and try to have the company pick the packages up.
That way I won't have to mess with the cops, and the merchandise won't be at mom's house either.
Thanks,
Sally
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Badgerbait
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Sally,

If the packages are coming throught he U.S. Postal Service please contact the Postal Inspectors (I am assuming you are US) . If not please PM me, I can offer a few more suggesstions. Actually, I would like you to PM me anyway.

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luckey
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

hoorah wrote:
^^^ The cops won't know or care what to do with them. At the end of the day, there will only be three things in front of them - stolen property, the word fraud, and you. Trying to explain it any further than that is usually futile, and they will assume you or your mother were doing it on purpose.


I'm not sure I agree with that. If they are suspicious, the first question they will ask themselves is: "If this person is aware they are doing something illegal, what could they possibly gain by coming in here and telling us about it?"

In my experience, and from accounts of other victims I've come into contact with, the police are often unable to help directly, but they are usually polite, sympathetic and willing to at least give whatever advice they can offer.

If the police come to a victim first, that's when they tend to be less trusting.

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hoorah
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ You'd think so, but like I said, I worked with these repackaging scams as a retialer awhile ago and all I ever did was confuse the police (and I knew what was going on). Almost EVERY time, the police assumed that the person getting the packages was the one doing the crime, or at least involved in it.

The only points they saw were Stolen items --> Bought with stolen credit card --> Sent to their house, so therefore they must have done it.

I once talked to someone from the FBI about it, and he seemed to have a better handle on the system at least until he got a phone call and basically said that it was nice what I was doing but what he was dealing with was more important and he probably wouldn't hear back from me on it and left.

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