TIM DREW: Fraudsters targeting people to become ‘parcel mules’

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

ACTION Fraud reports that people are being targeted to become “parcel mules” as part of a re-shipping scam, which renders them liable to prosecution for handling stolen goods.

Victims are predominantly recruited through job advertisements and dating websites. They are persuaded to have items delivered to their addresses, and to pay for postage before sending the items elsewhere.

Victims are contacted through freelancer websites and invited to become ‘freight forwarders’ as an employment opportunity.

The work is advertised as processing packages and forwarding them to clients. The items being delivered will have been purchased through fraudulent means, including the use of stolen/fraudulently obtained cards. The items being delivered are often pieces of electrical equipment or high value goods such as trainers, perfume and the latest phones.

If you act as a “mule” you are not only handling stolen goods, but also losing out financially.

You will not get paid the promised salary and you pay for the postage and delivery of the packages personally.

Additionally, you will have provided enough of your personal details to allow identity theft to occur.

As ever, the saying that “if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is” applies when unsolicited job offers are made or opportunities to make easy money arise.

• The Gaisford Neighbourhood Panel will meet on Monday, September 14, at Northbrook College, Broadwater Road, between 7pm and 8pm. On Tuesday, September 15, PCSO Graeme Foster hosts his surgery at East Worthing Community Centre, in Pages Lane, between 5pm and 6pm, followed by a meeting of the Selden Neighbourhood Panel at the same venue between 6pm and 7pm.

On Wednesday, September 16, PCSO Nicola Burstow hosts her surgery at the Community House, 25 Dominion Road, between 3pm and 4pm.

PCSO Ros Tite hosts her surgery on Thursday, September 17, between midday and 1pm at the Maybridge Keystone Centre in Raleigh Way.

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