Shipping scams or package theft tend to be more common during holidays and year-end celebrations than any other time of the year. During year-end celebrations and other major holidays, small businesses are exposed to various types of shipping scams due to the high number of packages flying back and forth. While package theft happens all year round, being aware of the common scams can be a lifesaver. The best way to avoid being scammed is by knowing how and when scams occur. The following are some of the common scams in the shipping industry.
Fake Delivery Notifications
Scammers pretend to be a parcel of postal service leaving official-looking notification by email or even calling. They usually claim that you missed delivery or that your package is waiting, and provide their contact information. When you reach out or call them, they scam you into stealing your payment details or personal information. Sometimes, scammers may fake deliveries that involve shipping of actual products. For instance, a Trojan container scam involves the delivery of illegal goods inside a legitimate cargo container.
This type of scam involves hackers posing as legitimate contacts or shipping companies to steal sensitive information about the business or gain remote access. The most common approach is embedding malicious code or attachments in delivery notifications asking the receiver to click on them. Once someone opens or interacts with the attachment, it installs a monitoring tool or a keylogger on the machine. The scammers do not even require you to contact them in any way. As long as you have clicked on the attachment or link, they start deriving your data. They may also send links to cloned official websites, forged bills of lading, duplicate company names, and other types of links to trick you into clicking the link.
Fake Verification Fees
Sometimes thieves ask the receiver to provide a verification fee for the release of the package. However, they do not ship any package but use a skimmer to steal your personal and payment details. They may also give the impression that they are providing a package, which will not. The scam is usually geared towards small business owners to acquire their information and use it to make fraudulent purchases or steal funds.
Credit Card Fraud
Scammers often reach out to small businesses with deceptive promise of reducing costs. They will usually contact business owners claiming that the postage is not enough or additional surcharges are needed. They then offer deceptive solution in the form of lower shipping rates for shipments or deals on shipping supplies. In the process, they may ask for your credit card details and later use them for some unscrupulous manner.
Google My Business
Another form of shipping scam is where scammers scrap addresses and reach out to business owners claiming that they can help their businesses become more visible on Google Maps. This requires business owners to part with some funds charged by scammers who pose like Google My Business specialists. Most business fall for this type of scam because business addresses are usually the same as shipping addresses. When customers cannot find these addresses on Google Maps, it means they would not trust the business easily.
What You Should Do to Avoid Such Scammers
The best way to avoid being scammed is by doing your research. When someone approaches you or provides contact information, research more about their organization or company. If something does not add up, it may mean that you are dealing with a scammer. For digital scams, always check the full URL and contact emails to ensure they are legitimate. Understanding how shipping scammers operate can help you greatly in avoiding their tricks. Fake delivery notifications scare that you will miss a package, while fake verification fee is meant to make you believe that your package will not be delivered until you verify your identity. On the other hand, fake additional charge is meant to make you believe that you owe postage.
InstantShip can help you avoid some of these scams in several ways. InstantShip's prepaid shipping labels come with tracking numbers that will help you avoid being scammed with fake delivery notifications. You can take advantage of this service and use shipping label UPS or shipping label USPS whenever shipping your products. We also help business owners avoid being scammed with fake verification fee or additional charge by providing accurate, live-time UPS shipping rates and USPS shipping rates. Before shipping your products, use InstantShip's calculator to estimate and compare UPS shipping rates and USPS shipping rates. You got nothing to worry about if the shipping rate already includes signature fee. Furthermore, carriers may ask for your ID for verification in person.