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Monday 10 January 2022

Beware: A scam coming soon from a scumbag near you


There is a new scam in town and it is devilishly simple and hard to combat.

It originates in the US, as so many scams do, and can affect anyone who has ordered goods over the internet, or arranged for home delivery.

You are particularly at risk if your order involves perishable foodstuffs, medicines, RATs, fresh flowers, or even drinks you need to arrive in time for an event.

The scam goes by the name of Rapid Access Fees, or Immediate Delivery Charges.

The deal is that you pay extra to ensure that the parcel you really need arrives on time, rather than a few days down the track.

Many courier companies and postal services, of course, charge express delivery fees up front. You know what you are paying for and it is included in your bill, or paid by the sender. Perfectly legit.

But what if you receive a call out of the blue, offering instant delivery for "an extra fee"? Probably a cash payment, too.

Be immediately suspicious. A scammer has somehow inserted themselves into what are now increasingly complex supply chains, often involving several couriers or contactors, particularly in rural areas.

Other scams in the same ballpark include cybercriminals sending fake parcel delivery notifications to trick you - or threaten to charge you a fee for them holding an undelivered item.

Here's one example. You receive a call from someone claiming to be an Australia Post or courier employee advising a parcel was not delivered but redelivery can be arranged after you make a payment.

The payment amount may vary and the scammer may ask for payment in a number of ways including credit card, or international wire transfer. Or COD.

Australia Post has also warned of fraudulent emails that are circulating advising customers of "on hold" deliveries and prompting them to click on a link to pay a fee to have that parcel delivered.

Once clicked on, the link will lead to a fake Australia Post website which is designed to steal your personal and financial information.

Again. Be very careful.

The legalities of being charged an extra fee will vary according to your residence and local jurisdiction, but it is certainly something to look out for - and alert the police if necessary

Caveat emptor.

Image: Sebastian Japson,

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