The Vancouver Island Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers not to fall victim to unsolicited claims from fake delivery service providers that they owe customs and delivery charges for undelivered packages.
BBB has received a number of ongoing reports from consumers on Vancouver Island that they have recently received notification (via mail, email or phone) that a package is to be delivered to their home. The package is only to be delivered if the consumer pays the customs and delivery fees associated with it first. In most cases, consumers are not expecting to receive a package. A phone number is left for the consumers to call for more information.
Some customers report that the courier/delivery company goes by the name “Speedy Delivery Victoria.” On multiple occasions the following phone number was provided 778-922-6155. This number, when called, went direct to a voicemail messaging service. One consumer reported speaking with a company representative who used aggressive and threatening tactics to try to convince the consumer to pay the delivery and customs fees.
BBB is warning consumers to use extreme caution if they receive notification that they must pay customs or delivery fees for an unexpected package. BBB serving Vancouver Island has no records of a legitimate Speedy Delivery Victoria operating in our service area.
BBB suspects this may be an attempt to canvas neighbourhoods for absent homeowners and/or to extort bogus delivery and customs fees from unsuspecting victims.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a situation similar to the one described above, contact your local BBB and provide us with more information. If you have found yourself a victim of a fake customs/delivery fee scam, report this to BBB and to your local police department.
To protect yourself from becoming a victim of fake customs and delivery charges:
- Keep track of any expected packages or delivery services you commonly use (including the estimated delivery dates and delivery service provider companies being used);
- Ask friends, family members or other businesses that are sending you packages to notify you in advance that a package will be sent and which service provider they are using;
- If you receive notification of an unexpected delivery, do some careful research first before paying any fees. Make sure you know who the package is from, what it’s expected contents are, the actual value of the delivery service and why you are receiving it.
- Know that you do not have to pay taxes or duty on gifts valued at under $60 that are sent to you (Note: some exceptions apply).
- You will not be taken to court or held legally responsible for refusing to pay delivery or customs fees on an unexpected package. Failure to pay such fees typically results in the item being returned to the sender/shipper.
For more information about BBB or for additional consumer and business tips visit bbb.org/Vancouver-island.