People are being targeted to become “Parcel Mules” as part of a reshipping scam, which results in them handling stolen goods and losing out financially.
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 a “Freight Forwarder” as an employment opportunity. The work is advertised as processing packages and forwarding them to clients.
The items being delivered 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.
How To Protect Yourself:
- Do not agree to receive packages at your address for someone that you do not know and trust.
- Be cautious of unsolicited job offers or opportunities to make easy money.
- When accepting a job offer, verify the company details provided to you and check whether they have been registered in the UK.
- Be wary of someone that you have met only online who asks you to send money or to receive items. Protect your privacy and do not give your personal details to someone that you do not know and trust.
If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.