A Scam or Potential Break in? - A Disquieting tale

This happened to an old friend in January. Just found out about it recently.

UPS dropped off a package at his door. He found it in the evening.
It was his address, but not his name.
So he decided to take it inside and drop off at some UPS place the next day.

Shortly there came a knock at the door. There was a fairly regular looking fellow standing there.
Asking through the door “What do you want?”

He replied that UPS tracking said they delivered my package to this address.

Friend replied, yes they did, just a moment, I’ll go get it.

After opening the door, he gave the guy the package.
The guy then starts in with “What were you going to do with it? Keep it for yourself?”

Friend reply’s “You can see it’s not opened, I was going to take it to UPS tomorrow”

The guy gets increasing aggressive about the package and started crowding the entryway.
Also there seems to be another person getting out of a car at the end of the walk.

At this point my friend moves the pistol he had in hand from behind the door to where it can be seen.
Before he can tell the guy to scram, the guy beets feet out to the car and both drive away. Without a word.

So what really happened?
First thought they were casing the place and when the door opened and he saw an elderly type, the game was on for a home invasion.

Or perhaps this was some new trick to deliver drugs or ?? to a safe address in hopes if the law is wise, it will not come back on them.
If all is quit on the LE front - go grab the package before it can be found out.

My friend was not sure what would have happened without his gun.
In hind sight he should have asked and confirmed the name, but since the guy knew from the tracking, he didn’t think about it.
I guess he could have just refused to open up and tell the guy to take it up with UPS after he returned the box. But could have led to further aggression.
We are way too polite in these parts.

This is one of those cases where no shots were fired and unfortunately there are no national crime statistics where a firearm prevented possible violence without a round being fired.

My friend and his disabled wife were seriously freaked out. And have had trouble with nerves since.
My friend especially dislikes leaving his wife home alone when he goes out.

Security cams and hardened doors are on order.

Just a cautionary tale if you find a strange package out front.

All the Best,
Jeff

My first thought is, your friend should do a Credit Check to make sure they’re not charging stuff on his cards. Some places will not accept shipping unless it’s to the cards listed address.

Around here there’s a big Scam going on at the Post Office. If you pay your bills with a check , they open your bill up and make checks off of your account. I only pay bills with a credit card lately, except two that I hand off directly. I also have my email warnings set very low on all my accounts. I get an email when I deposit in my own account

Yeah that’s pretty troubling.

One thought I had was that tracking info never gives the actual address being delivered to, so that was probably a lie. He would have known the address because he entered it when he made the order.

It’s entirely possible, all of it.

Former (careful to not say “old”) gf’s longtime friend was a hacquer and would order stuff via fake CCs to addresses where he knew no one was at home during the day, wait for the UPS guy to deliver it, then casually walk up, fake-keys in hand as if he were heading into the house, “Ah, perfect timing!”, and grab the package. No one was the wiser, as there’d be no note left behind, he could even sign for a package if needed, and he wouldn’t be seen as a porch-pir8 just strolling up onto a neighbor’s property, grabbing a package, then walking off. Downside was, of course, having to wait potentially all day.

But nowadays, yeah, any “contraband” might be sent to some sap’s house, or it might be used to case the place and see who lived inside, how well protected the place might be, etc.

But, it pays to never ever open the door for anyone. Have a normal “wooden” door and also a storm-door that opens outward that’s always always kept locked. A home invasion would first require, what?, someone take a crowbar to first pry open the storm-door? That ain’t getting busted inwards, that’s fer sher.

I had something kinda similar happen to me. A package with my name but an address down the road was delivered to me by UPS because the driver knew my name and where I lived. I opened it up to find some Nike clothing and shoes that I did not order. I notified the store and UPS picked it up the next day. The store told me my card was used by someone in Florida. Someone hacked my card but I am not sure why the address was wrong or what the overall scam was. The package was returned so quickly I think the scam did not have time to play out.

the operative phrase: “the pistol he had in hand”.

I had something similar to this happen, but I received a half dozen odd items delivered to my name, my address. I called one of the companies and they didn’t know what to say, had all the ducks in a row, suggested that I call my card issuer. So I did. Lo and behold, I had upwards of 250 fraudulent charges on my card all within a week’s time frame. The largest of which was airfare to Italy, which was declined due to the high dollar amount (over my set limitation…glad I set it where I did!). Probably a hundred of those charges were for $0.01 or $1.00.

This was about ten years ago, before all the card “hacks” really ramped up and before e-commerce was as huge as it is now. Banks and card issuers weren’t dealing with card fraud at the level they are these days, so the charges were allowed to rack up until that airfare hit. Chances are your card info was lifted from a website somewhere - either an unscrupulous or an inept vendor, but it can happen anywhere and there’s almost no telling for sure. The small charges are just pings to see if the card is active, and shipping goods to the actual card owner’s address serves the same purpose…so they say.

I didn’t know what to do with the bottles of goji berries. The business card order for 10,000 fancy cards (really??) was some sham company in Jamaica (!) who was probably in on the deal and refused to talk to me when I telephoned to ask about the transaction…but those actually shipped from New Hampshire. And then there was the porn DVDs from Adam & Eve. They didn’t want to give up their profit and voluntarily refund the amount even when the bank called them…but they did refund me and banned me for life from ordering at their website. lol. I can’t recall now what the other items were but everything was just weird.

This is different than Jeff’s potentially more harmful situation. Thieves and criminals are everywhere and they seem more bold these days…more creative, too…but still just as dumb.

Re: credit cards. I have a few and they all let the user set $limits that will trigger an email or text on transactions over that amount. The lowest amount being from $10 to $25 dollars depending on card issuer. A couple of times in the past few years the text has let me know of the charge, or failed charge, within seconds of the transaction being entered. It is also possible for me to lock the cards I have but do not use frequently. Everyone should look into what their card offers.

Yes, I do get texts and emails every time I make a transaction over my set limits but I’d rather get those than have to deal a plethora of unauthorized charges days or weeks afterwards.

First things first….“UPS dropped off a package at his door.”

I know it was just left, but I wonder if there’s a CCTV around the place that can show if indeed it a real UPS truck that unloaded and brought it to the door.

Because if it was not, then it’s a 100% new modus operandi to enter the house without alarming the neighborhood.

Good thing the owner had the presence of mind, and was ready with his gun.

Little bit of experience here. People how steal accounts off of ebay, amazon, etc. often get items mailed to elderly or empty but well maintained homes. Then go and pick up the packages. One of the first cases I was involved in was an ex-employee of Blockbuster. He had used the driver licenses and credit card info used on card membership applicants to order out of state jewellery to an empty but maintained house. Six weeks after arrest jewellery was still arriving. His girlfriend was using the applicants info to order more to make his bond.

So Jeff51 have your friend make a police report. This will be filed in TLETS so any other officer in Texas will has access as pieces and names get put together. A lot of crimes get solve this way. Say Steve’s car plate gets reported. Then Steve and Jane get arrested with meth. Jane on arrest inventory has stolen credit cards. We now have possibly enough for both. Doesn’t matter when or where, all of Steve’s and Jane’s TLETS info pops up along with other agencies and officers who have filed reports and cases.

Most just bang on the door for about 5 minutes then go around back and kick in the door. Many are just parked around the corner. If they eat out of your refrigerator then it’s usually kids.

I’m in the uk so don’t own a gun……. of course, but that does sound like
It could have been a set up.
They do usually stay at your door though, different scam but people say they are there if you need work on your house.
Happened around 3 weeks ago, a man was at the door, my mum has the sense not to open it then shouted to me Conan there is a man that won’t leave.
As soon as I went to the door they left, I didn’t open it either but I think where we still have the disabled rails up from my grandad they was looking for vulnerable people.

Here with me such a thing could never happen, I live in a small town where we all know each other and a stranger would not go unnoticed and I personally know all the courier drivers who have been delivering packages to my home for years.

Maybe we could Sofirn to make a flashlight with a gun attached to it .

Told you about it a while ago. Legit delivery guy rings your doorbell, with a parcel, asks you to sign for it, and leaves. A bit later two guys with a badge show up, saying there was a mixup, not caused by you, and want their parcel “back”. That’s okay with you because you don’t remember ordering anything. Next month you notice you payed for the iPhone (or another expensive item) you ordered (?).
So they know your card number, monitor the T&T, see it’s delivered and “correct the mixup”. And it was ordered by “you”, payed for by you, and delevered at your doorstep.

VAT and shipping costs have drastically cut the number of my orders. I know when to expect what. And told the missus to accept and sign for nothing I haven’t told her about. Let them drop it at the postal agency. There I can ID myself, open the parcel, and refuse it. I repeat this mantra time after time, and she says she’s not stupid and she knows by now.

But I know that any uniform or even a badge will make her go weak at the knees, and she will sign anything you hold in front of her.

There's a huge (millions) invasion of foreign nationals coming into the US and the feds are sending them everywhere. Little to no vetting. Stay vigilant.

The guys in your incident sound more like typical criminals from the US.

Thank goodness for 2A!

Thanks for sharing. It’s hard to be trusting and helpful to others and still protect yourself and family. As the advice goes we must be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

I’ve been looking for a simple security camera. I don’t want to pay for a monthly subscription though. I just want to be able to access it through my phone.

Yeah, I had CC info stolen at a local restaurant years ago.
SaltGrass Steak House. That was the only place my card was out of sight.

A few weeks later the card was declined at another place. Called the CC company and they froze the account due to oddball charges.

And like some of you mentioned, the first charge was some small amount to see if the card was live.
Then I bought gas for like 5 cars at once at 3 different gas stations all at the same time.

Then there were hundreds of $$ worth of charges at various grocery and big box stores.
One again within minutes of each other.
Figured there had to be at least 8 clones of my card in the wind.
All these charges were done in under an hour.

When a few $K worth of stuff was being sent to Florida the CC Co. froze the account.
CC company took good care of me and I incurred no penalties.

Filed a police report since the $$ was up in the felony range.
Told them we would press charges or whatever it took.

The license plates of the cars/trucks must be recorded at the pumps and there would be cameras at the store checkout counters.
Had hopes something would come of it.

Nada… The only thing lost was one customer of SaltGrass.
Kinda pissed there wasn’t even followup.
Would have like to have a TV spot showing the thieves using the stolen cards.

All the Best,
Jeff

I have had cards hacked that never saw the light of day. Thank you Equifax. Took years for the settlement to become final but I just got notice I’m getting 4 years of free credit monitoring. Whoopy! I had to give them my SS number to join. Ironic.

ZMODO cameras work well

Around here there was trouble with the CC service small stores were using — Hackers got into their system and stole 1000s of peoples info — I must say Chase is the easiest when it comes to fraud —they credit your account immediately —- I use CC not my Debit Card —— much easier to recoup bad charges