Certified Shipping Services

About a week or so ago my family members started receiving calls from a representative claiming to be from Certified Shipping Services.  My father was the first to be contacted.  The criminal on the phone told my father that Certified Shipping Services had legal documents they needed to deliver to me.  He claimed that they had my post office box but didn’t have my physical address.  He gave my father a phone number for me to call with a reference number.  The phone number given was 544-566-0553.and a six digit reference number.

This makes everything sound legitimate.  I tried calling the number but received a recorded message saying that the number was no longer in service.  A couple days later my father received the call again.  My father told them I was there if they wanted to speak to me.  He handed me his phone and the man told me she spiel about how Certified Shipping Services had legal documents they needed to deliver to me but they only had my post office box.  At first, though, he asked if an address sounded familiar to me.  I didn’t confirm or deny the address he gave.  That’s Rule #1 when dealing with phone calls asking you to verify information.  If you don’t know for sure who you’re talking to then you don’t give out any information.

I informed him that if he were a representative of a legitimate company then Certified Shipping Services could drop the documents off at the appropriate post office and I could pick them up.  He said I didn’t understand that these were legal documents.  I understood quite well.  I’m very knowledgeable of how the law operates.  If a third-party delivery service only has a post office box then they can drop the package or correspondence off at the appropriate post office and the post office can deliver deliver it.  After all, the U.S. Postal Service delivers certified letters every day.

He responded that these documents needed to be delivered by their service and I needed to sign them in front of the delivery personnel so that the documents could be delivered back to their client.  This sounded very odd.  That’s now how the delivery of legal documents work.  I know of no delivery service that requires you to sign legal documents right then and there.  That would be too time consuming as any intelligent person would want to fully read what they were signing.

I inquired as to who the client was that they were delivering the legal documents on behalf of. He stated that he couldn’t release that information.  That was a telltale sign that he was nothing but a criminal engaging in a phishing scheme.  Any legitimate company that’s calling me for my information should at least be able to tell me who is trying to send me legal documents.

The other issue was the phone number he gave me, 844-566-0553.  I explained to him that the number he gave my father was a non-working phone number.  He responded that my father must have written the phone number down incorrectly.  So, I asked him for the phone number.  The phone number the criminal gave me was the very phone number I had previously received.  The odd thing is that they’re wanting me to call another number.  Why?  If they already have me on the phone then the criminal could have just attempted to phish the information right then and there.

I did some research on Certified Shipping Services.  Seems I’m not the only one with this issue.  A number of others have had the same thing happen.  These criminals call their family members with the same spiel about legal documents, giving a phone number, and a reference number.  None of these criminals actually call the person they’re trying to reach.  I don’t really understand the full scope of the scam as the criminals are giving out a non-working toll-free number.

When the criminals call, it always shows up as “Unavailable.”  This leads me to believe they’re using *67 before they call.  The person on the other line doesn’t sound foreign.  Since then, I have set my phone to automatically reject/block any calls that show unavailable.  Thus far, they have contacted my father (twice), my brother, sister, and grown niece.

While I have notified the local police department about the scam, they said there isn’t much they can do.  After all, there’s really no information for them to go on.  The call is an unavailable number.  The phone number that I’m supposed to call is a non-working number.  The company name is a generic-sounding name.

For now, thre’s not much anyone can really do.  The best thing to do is never give out any information over the phone.  Anyone can claim to be anyone or with any company.  The Caller ID system is completely insecure.  Anyone can easily spoof the Caller ID signal to make anything appear on your Caller ID.  Unfortunately, the Caller ID system has never been secure.

If a company claims you owe a debt, tell them to send a full detailed billing statement to whatever address they have on file.  If they claim they need you to verify your information, tell them that you don’t give out personal information over the phone.  If they’re a legitimate collection agency then they should have your valid contact information.  If they ask  you if an address sounds familiar or if you’ve had such and such address at some time, tell them you don’t give out personal information over the phone. Stick to that!

The same goes for your family.  Let them know they should not give out any information about your.  For them to not verify, validate, or invalidate any information.