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Old 19th February 2013, 13:33   #1
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Default Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

Today, I received a cash-on-delivery package from my local post office guy marked "Books" from a Delhi address. Value of this package was some 2200 odd Rs and it was to be paid via Cash on Delivery.

Interesting thing to note is this package was marked under our new company name and address that we recently formed about a week back. We have sent papers for this company to the registering authorities, but the company has not been officially registered yet - at least not on paper. My courier guy advised me to open the package (confirm the package content - apparently this is allowed for all COD parcels) and make sure if it really was something that I or someone else in my company had ordered. Unsurprisingly, it was a set of used self-help books not worth more than 50 Rs as per the printed price. No one had ordered these books and it was returned back to the courier. Very strange how and where did these individuals obtain our unregistered company name and address from

This helpful courier guy now mentioned that "Sir, ye dilli wale aisa karte hain, isi liye package hameshaa check karneka. Aap jaise 5-6 log dekhe bina agar paise de do, to unka din bhar jaiyega " (It's a common malpractice by some individuals based out of Delhi to send out such packages and if 5-6 people like you unknowingly pay for it, these individuals go happy for the day).

Apparently, it's a known scam (atleast with the courier companies) and people are advised to always check the content of Cash on Delivery items, if you haven't personally ordered it, or even otherwise, before signing and paying for it!

Mods: Please merge this with any existing thread, if one exists already.

Last edited by 9thsphinx : 19th February 2013 at 13:34.
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Old 19th February 2013, 14:07   #2
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Default re: Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

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Today, I received a cash-on-delivery package from my local post office guy marked "Books" from a Delhi address. Value of this package was some 2200 odd Rs and it was to be paid via Cash on Delivery.

Mods: Please merge this with any existing thread, if one exists already.
The exact same thing happened to the company I was working with. We were told that we received a package and that we have to pay around 2000 or so rupees. Since my boss came from US, he was not aware of this scam and so ended up paying that amount.

Guys, beware.. this has become quite common these days.
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Old 19th February 2013, 14:46   #3
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I do not understand one thing here.

Why would anyone pay for something that they never ordered in the first place? Just curious.
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Old 19th February 2013, 14:56   #4
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Default re: Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

This has been there for long time, using the VPP route in our postal system earlier. I used to receive many such parcels, mostly from the Readers Digest group, which I never ordered. Since then I have made it a point to never order anything on VPP or CoD basis and instructed my household accordingly.

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I do not understand one thing here.

Why would anyone pay for something that they never ordered in the first place? Just curious.
Such goods are sometimes accepted by household, since they may not be sure of such deliveries or was unable to contact the person who ordered it.
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Old 19th February 2013, 15:03   #5
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Default re: Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

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Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
I do not understand one thing here.

Why would anyone pay for something that they never ordered in the first place? Just curious.
I can imagine following possibility
1. Out of greed/curiosity
2. May be people think it might be ordered by spouse/other family member

I remember one case happened with my friend's wife. My friend was in US and his wife at Chennai. She received one big parcel from US (in real it was local) from his husband in morning hrs on thier anniversary day as a surprise gift which attracted some 2000 custom duty. Since it was night in US she didn't called her hubby and out of curiosity and excitement she paid the same. Later when she opened it there were some junk iron pieces in that. Later she confirmed from her husband and he refused to send anything.
It was concluded that some known person who knows there anniversary date fooled them may be from FB/sometimes we will such info in hotel etc feedback
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Old 19th February 2013, 15:05   #6
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Default re: Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

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I do not understand one thing here.

Why would anyone pay for something that they never ordered in the first place? Just curious.
My theory on how this would work in two different scenarios.

Scenario 1: The way this works is, a COD parcel is sent out to an office address. There might be people in that office who have been pre-notified to accept packages/parcels if under the company name. The boss (apparently very busy or preoccupied) might be out of office or on an important call, and since the value of the package, or in this case the contents (books) is not something that would devoid you of thinking twice whether the boss or someone in the company would have ordered it or otherwise, you accept the package and pay the courier guys. What helps this scenario it's the same courier guy delivering the package who delivers your everyday mail. You wont suspect anything fishy if coming from your trusted postman. Parcel gets accepted, paid for and sent out to the boss's desk - only some time later, if it all depending on the circumstances, to be found out it was a scam.

Scenario 2: How many times do you order something online and have it shipped to your home address? Many-a-times, I assume. So do these phony guys. They deliberately send a Cash on delivery package to your home address (during office hours) and your unsuspecting wife or mother who would be at home might think that you might have ordered something online (books in this case once again can't be doubted) and pay for it. Once you get home, you find a parcel lying on your desk that has your name and address on it. I'm sure you would open it to find out what really is in that parcel before finding out it has been paid for and you didn't really order anything - aka you've been duped!
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Old 19th February 2013, 15:14   #7
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Default re: Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

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Originally Posted by 9thsphinx View Post
My courier guy advised me to open the package (confirm the package content - apparently this is allowed for all COD parcels) and make sure if it really was something that I or someone else in my company had ordered.
Thank you for this info.

Slightly OT: When I ordered a tab from TheMobileStore, they sent it through FedEx. I had opted for COD and was planning to open the pack and inspect it before paying, but the FedEX guy clearly told me that opening COD parcels are not allowed before paying the money.
I was under the impression that I can open and inspect the package before accepting the delivery. I was running short of time, and the courier was well packaged, so I did not bother to argue with him.
Next time, I am going to be firm on my stand and will open and see the package before I accept it.
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Old 19th February 2013, 15:25   #8
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Default re: Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

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Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
I do not understand one thing here.

Why would anyone pay for something that they never ordered in the first place? Just curious.
This the first thought that came to my mind.
No offence to anyone,only a fool would do so.
Even if i have a COD package delivered to my place on some acquaintance's name,i would confirm,and then pay.
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Old 19th February 2013, 15:48   #9
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Default re: Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

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Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
Thank you for this info.

Slightly OT: When I ordered a tab from TheMobileStore, they sent it through FedEx. I had opted for COD and was planning to open the pack and inspect it before paying, but the FedEX guy clearly told me that opening COD parcels are not allowed before paying the money.
I was under the impression that I can open and inspect the package before accepting the delivery. I was running short of time, and the courier was well packaged, so I did not bother to argue with him.
Next time, I am going to be firm on my stand and will open and see the package before I accept it.

To open the package for inspection before paying varies. Some couriers and online shopping services allow inspection, some don't!

Here's a good article that I found for tips on how to avoid yourself falling for such scams:

http://www.ehow.com/how_2337528_avoi...-delivery.html

Last edited by 9thsphinx : 19th February 2013 at 16:04.
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Old 19th February 2013, 19:18   #10
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Default Re: Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

Well, Curiosity killed the cat.

In an office scenario I can understand this sort of scam working, but not in a household. If you're careless enough to order something vis COD and not inform at home; well then it's your fault. And if you are ready to accept anything on which someone has posted your name, and pay for it, err...that's bad. Tsk, tsk....No candy from strangers.

And people accepting COD gifts, wow! I thought they were just internet jokes, but apparently not.

Anyhow, I do not think any courier company would allow you to open the package to *check* it. They are just a third party providing their service.
If it's the company's delivery guy, say a flipkart boy, yeah, go on.
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Old 19th February 2013, 19:40   #11
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Default Re: Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

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If you're careless enough to order something vis COD and not inform at home; well then it's your fault.
Umm can't be so all the time. What if the package is a surprise gift or something exotic.

Or we can try something like ask the courier guy to keep the package and someone will pick it up from the courier office. Then your folks can confirm its legitimacy and not be duped.
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Old 19th February 2013, 20:29   #12
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Default Re: Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

There are many sellers on Ebay who specifically ask you to open the package before accepting it. If found in damaged condition, you should refuse to accept it. It gets returned to the seller. But if you accept it and then open it, they are not responsible.

If something is suspect and the courier company does not let you open it, simply refuse to accept it.
Now that I think of it, my folks at home are always alert when anything comes in my name, especially if its COD. They will call me to verify and if I'm not reachable, will refuse to accept it.(unless I've informed them in advance, which I usually do)
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Old 20th February 2013, 14:03   #13
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Default Re: Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

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If you're careless enough to order something vis COD and not inform at home; well then it's your fault.
Exactly. I go one step further. I inform those at home that no extra payment is due, like for ebay purchase.

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And people accepting COD gifts, wow! I thought they were just internet jokes, but apparently not.
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Umm can't be so all the time. What if the package is a surprise gift or something exotic.
If you have to pay, its not a gift anymore. So why should you pay for something someone ordered for you. its like that joke in the joke thread, which goes something like: send your girlfriend a diamond necklace this valentine, through COD!
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Old 20th February 2013, 20:18   #14
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Default Re: Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

I cant think of a scenario were folks wouldn't know if they had ordered something, especially if the number of online transactions are not too large.

The only case were this could be possible is when one keeps ordering online and one of such packages sneaks in.

For a usual household like mine, my wife would call me before paying anyone anything, and then this would get caught.
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Old 20th February 2013, 20:25   #15
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Default Re: Cash on Delivery Scams: Always Check the Contents of the Package!

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Originally Posted by hrman View Post
There are many sellers on Ebay who specifically ask you to open the package before accepting it. If found in damaged condition, you should refuse to accept it. It gets returned to the seller. But if you accept it and then open it, they are not responsible.

If something is suspect and the courier company does not let you open it, simply refuse to accept it.
Now that I think of it, my folks at home are always alert when anything comes in my name, especially if its COD. They will call me to verify and if I'm not reachable, will refuse to accept it.(unless I've informed them in advance, which I usually do)
Most reputed courier's will not allow you to open a package before signing the docket.

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Originally Posted by SandyX View Post
Umm can't be so all the time. What if the package is a surprise gift or something exotic.

Or we can try something like ask the courier guy to keep the package and someone will pick it up from the courier office. Then your folks can confirm its legitimacy and not be duped.
There is another scam around this however, the courier team take your "item" out, replace with something else of similar volume and seal the package, as they get much more time. Sometimes, they even sign the docket in your name and claim you collected it already. Bluedart allows this only if the parcel has not been delivered to your house in 3 attempts, after this too, they demand multiple ID proofs, as well as a written letter from your side clearly stating you collected the package, and no further liability rests on Bluedart's side.

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Originally Posted by 9thsphinx View Post
Today, I received a cash-on-delivery package from my local post office guy marked "Books" from a Delhi address. Value of this package was some 2200 odd Rs and it was to be paid via Cash on Delivery.

Interesting thing to note is this package was marked under our new company name and address that we recently formed about a week back. We have sent papers for this company to the registering authorities, but the company has not been officially registered yet - at least not on paper. My courier guy advised me to open the package (confirm the package content - apparently this is allowed for all COD parcels) and make sure if it really was something that I or someone else in my company had ordered. Unsurprisingly, it was a set of used self-help books not worth more than 50 Rs as per the printed price. No one had ordered these books and it was returned back to the courier. Very strange how and where did these individuals obtain our unregistered company name and address from

This helpful courier guy now mentioned that "Sir, ye dilli wale aisa karte hain, isi liye package hameshaa check karneka. Aap jaise 5-6 log dekhe bina agar paise de do, to unka din bhar jaiyega " (It's a common malpractice by some individuals based out of Delhi to send out such packages and if 5-6 people like you unknowingly pay for it, these individuals go happy for the day).

Apparently, it's a known scam (atleast with the courier companies) and people are advised to always check the content of Cash on Delivery items, if you haven't personally ordered it, or even otherwise, before signing and paying for it!

Mods: Please merge this with any existing thread, if one exists already.
This can be an excellent prank to play on the office Boss on April Fools day. Plus, the package should be marked "V's Secret" making it almost mandatory for him to close the transaction with the delivery guy before anyone else can see the label on the box !
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