The scam letter is from Overstock Services Division, a supposed package handling and care facility based in Las Vegas Nevada in the United States. It contains a delivery release control form with a request for payment to have a package delivered.
The form states that your package is securely on hold to deliver upon confirmation of your address and contains your personal details. Also included in this mail scam is an inspection docket and a reply paid envelope.
Mr Ayres said NSW Fair Trading had received reports of the scam letter from consumers in Bathurst, Port Macquarie, Glenugie, Mount Warrigal and Mitchells Island, as well as most recently from an elderly couple near Newcastle.
“Dorothy and Clive Hogan from Kotara South, near Newcastle, aged 87 and 91 respectively were recent targets of the scam and were keen to help Fair Trading spread this warning,” Mr Ayres said.
“Dorothy received the scam letter, correctly addressed to her and when she opened it she said her impression was it was authentic.
“She said she didn’t know anyone in America who would have sent a letter to her, however her grand-daughter had recently been in America, so she thought perhaps she may have sent her a parcel.”
Mrs Hogan said the letter also included a photograph of an un-named lady who had apparently cleared the parcel through Customs in America.
“It said I would be sent the parcel on receipt of my payment of $30,” she said. “My friend and neighbour took a copy of the letter to our local Member of Parliament, Andrew Cornwell and he advised it was a scam and he would send it to Fair Trading.
“We soon received a letter from Fair Trading confirming it was a scam and they also sent us a range of information about scams, including the Little Black Book of Scams.
“I was very distressed about receiving the scam letter and many members of my family contacted me about it. I have heard of scams before but never actually received a letter like this. Our phone number is listed in Clive’s name so it really worried me that they had my name.”
Minister Ayres said anyone receiving the letter should ignore it and notify Fair Trading on 13 32 20, online at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or at any Fair Trading or Service NSW centre.
“Never respond to unsolicited offers like this,” he said. “If you confirm your personal details scammers will use that and share it with other criminal networks, as well as taking your payment. I congratulate Dorothy for being scam smart and helping us warn others.”