Below is an account of the incidence:
Wednesday a week ago, I had a phone call from someone saying that he was from a Company called: “Express Couriers”. He asked if I was going to be home because there was a package for me that required a signature .
The caller said that the delivery would arrive at my home in roughly an hour. Sure enough, about an hour later, a uniformed delivery man turned up with a parcel and a bottle of wine. I was very surprised since there was no special occasion, and I certainly didn’t expect anything like it. Intrigued, I inquired as to who the sender was. The courier replied, “I don’t know, I’m only delivering the package.” Apparently, he said “the sender would want to give you a surprise and a card would be sent separately afterward”
It happened that my birthday was on the way also, so we thought it could be from a distant friend. There was also a consignment note with the gift.
He then went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol, there was a N1000 “delivery/ verification charge,” providing proof that he had actually delivered the package to an adult (of legal drinking age), and not just left it on the doorstep where it could be stolen or taken by anyone, especially a minor.
I called my husband who said the price of the wine is in the region of N10,000. This sounded logical and I offered to pay him cash. But he said that the delivery company required payment to be by credit, ATM or debit card only, so that everything is properly accounted for.
He added they also don’t carry cash to avoid loss or likely targets for robbery.
My husband, pulled out his ATM CARD and gave him to swipe the card on a small mobile card machine with a small screen and keypad and asked to key in the verification code.
Frankly at this point we never suspected anything abnormal, and a receipt was printed out and given to us, he then wished us good day and went off as normal.
To our horrible surprise, between Friday and the following Monday, N450,000 had been withdrawn from our account at various ATM machines!
Apparently the “mobile ATM card machine,” which the delivery man carried had all the info necessary to create a “dummy” card with all our card details, of course with the verification code.
Upon finding out about the illegal transactions on our card, we immediately notified the bank to stop payment, but it was already too late.
We went to make a Police report. But at the station, we found out that quite a number of households had been similarly hit.
WARNING: Be wary of accepting any “surprise gift or package,” which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package, it may be a scam.
Also never accept anything if you do not personally know or there is no proper identification of who the sender is.
Above all, the only time you should give out any personal credit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction!