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Police: Reshipping scam targets Boise residents

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Posted at 12:03 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 14:03:54-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Boise Police Department has intercepted thousands of dollars in stolen items that were being shipped through Boise by unsuspecting residents, according to a news release.

BPD Community Outreach Division officers were contacted last week by investigators in Gilbert, Arizona.

“Investigators in Arizona took a report of financial transaction card fraud -- and learned that items were being shipped to a home in Boise,” the release said.

Boise Police investigators, with the help of U.S. Postal Inspectors, learned of a potential reshipping scam occurring with an online retailer.

Inspectors began to monitor packages arriving at a Boise address. The U.S. Post Service seized almost fifty stolen packages, valued at almost $10,000, destined for the address in Boise

“Investigators went to the address on Tuesday, May 12th and seized an additional $7,000 in stolen (items). The residents living at the Boise home were scammed into reshipping stolen merchandise,” the release said.

Officers are warning the public to be cautious of work-from-home offers that involve shipping.

If you’ve been asked to receive packages at your home or business and ship them to someone else, Postal inspectors advise you not to do it.

Reshipping scams are a hot trend targeting people who visit job sites, dating sites, and chat rooms. You’ll find reshipping scams disguised as bogus work-at-home offers, fake “sweethearts” who need your help, and charities asking you to donate to their cause — in Europe or Africa, police said.

These complex scams usually involve several crimes. Some criminals purchase merchandise with stolen credit cards and need your help to smuggle the goods out of the country. Others send you counterfeit money orders or checks and ask you to reship them to another address. You’ll be given counterfeit postage to reship the illegal items.

Police say you’re committing several felonies when you help these criminals. And even if you don’t get caught, it’s likely you’ll lose a lot of money. When they send you a money order or check for payment, you’re told to deposit it, keep a portion, and wire the remaining amount elsewhere.

Make sure the money order or check is genuine before you deposit it. If your bank finds the money order or check is counterfeit, you may be liable for the full amount you deposited.

Here’s some valuable tips from the Boise Police Department:

-Don’t accept packages at your address for people you don’t know.

-Don’t accept calls from people who want you to reship their mail.

-If you’ve already received items from such an offer -- don’t mail them!

-Report suspected scams. Call Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455 (press 5).

(photo courtesy: Boise Police Department)