A new scam involving a mobile phone delivery has seen unsuspecting victims lose hundreds of pounds out of pocket, say reports.
The ruse begins with a knock at the door and a top of the range phone handed over to the occupant by a legitimate courier firm.
The package has the home owner’s name on it, but they have no memory of having ordered it.
Before they have time to work out why they are holding a sparkling piece of new tech, there’s a second knock on the door.
This time it’s a different person, but dressed as a courier.
“We didn’t mean to deliver that, it was a mistake,” they will say, before requesting the phone back.
Those who hand the phone over find themselves paying for their honesty.
The ploy is pulled off by scammers who, having managed to get hold of your personal details, place an expensive order to your house.
They then set up camp outside your address on the day of the delivery before attempting to intercept the courier.
If that fails, they will pretend to be a courier themselves and attempt to convince you to hand over the package.
“We rented out our house to tenants after we relocated, and a year after moving they called to say there was a parcel for us,” one victim told the BBC .
“We hadn’t ordered anything there but were in the area so popped in to collect it.
“It had two Samsung new phones that had just been released.
“We contacted Carphone Warehouse, the company which had sent the phones, only to be told that they had been ordered online, on a contract linked to a Halifax account in my husband’s name.”
Suspicious, because they had not opened the account or ordered the phones, the couple contacted Action Fraud.
After they were informed of the likely scam, they handed the tech back to Carphone Warehouse and called the police.
The fear that someone somehow got hold of their personal information and could ruin their credit history remains however.
Those looking not to be scammed should not give items back to a courier who unexpectedly arrives at their home.
Instead, check their credentials and call the company they claim to be representing.
Fraud is on the rise in the UK.
According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales there were 3.8 million fraud incidents reported in the year to March 2019, a 17% increase over the year.