Christmas grinches target parcel deliveries for scam

SHOPPERS need to watch out for fake delivery scams arriving in their inbox or post box as grinches try to hijack Christmas.

The number of Australians falling for this scam is on the rise with losses totalling $30,000 reported this year and almost 300 complaints, which is almost double the amount of last year's money loss and contacts.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says scammers contact unwitting victims posing as employees from a legitimate parcel delivery service.

They claim to have made an unsuccessful attempt to deliver a package to your address and offer to redeliver at a convenient time in exchange for a fee, usually ranging from $10 to $30.

The fraudsters use the ruse to trick people into handling over personal details such as credit card or bank account numbers. Once they have that information, they can defraud people.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said delivery recipients should keep in mind any costs should have been paid when the delivery order was placed.

She said people should phone their bank or financial institution immediately if they suspected they had handed over banking or credit card details to a scammer.

"Australians send and receive millions of parcels at Christmas time," she said.

"If you are expecting a parcel to give as a gift to family or friends, or expect to receive one, it's important to watch out for these scams.

"If you pay a scammer, all they will deliver is a hole in your bank account and put your personal information is at risk.

"In particular, warning bells should ring louder than jingle bells if they suggest international wire transfers as chances are you will never see your money again.

"If you are suspicious about a 'missed' parcel delivery, call the company directly to verify that the correspondence is genuine.

"Independently source the contact details through an internet search or phone book - do not rely on numbers provided."