Online security

13 December 2019

How to recognise parcel fraud

We are all doing more and more shopping online. Fraudsters know it too, and they are becoming increasingly inventive about intercepting parcels.

According to Statbel, more than 60% of Belgians buy a product online at least once a year. But the majority buy monthly, weekly or even daily.

That translates into a lot of parcels being sent and delivered. According to the most recent numbers from the Postal Sector Ombudsman, more than 550,000 parcels are sent daily. 

Having parcels delivered to your residence is convenient for you and good business for couriers. But it's also an interesting area of activity for fraudsters. They have a variety of working methods.

1. Fraud via e-mail

You receive an e-mail that says that a parcel awaits you, even though you don't recall ordering anything. The e-mail sometimes also claims that you missed the courier. You are then asked to click on a link in the e-mail. That is what the fraudster is hoping for.

Find out in detail how this type of parcel fraud works, in the following video.

A quick run-through of how parcel fraud works

2. Fraud during delivery

A fraudster hacks an account and orders and pays for a product with stolen payment details. He or she has the parcel delivered to your address, but under a different name. You are unable to recall straight away whether you or your partner ordered anything, so you accept the parcel from the courier.

Right after it is delivered, the fraudster will try to pick the parcel up from you, on the pretext that the courier was given the wrong house number. That is how a fraudster can walk off with the newest smartphone under their arm, without much risk of being traced.

What can I do to protect myself?