During the past several months, deputies have seen an increase in third-party shipping scams and want to warn the public.
There are reports of "help wanted" or job advertisements asking for assistance receiving a company's packages. When a community member responds to the ad, they are told to receive packages at their residence and then forward the package to another person or organization. The community member is paid a small amount of money for each package they forward.
The items sent to the community member's home are purchased online with stolen credit cards by the "employer." Most of the items shipped to community members are small electronics or items that can be quickly sold or have already been sold by the scammer.
In these cases, the fraudulent companies appear legitimate at first glance and use professional looking websites with stolen pictures of executives or other similar things to look real to the prospective "employee." Still, deputies want community members to know there is almost no legitimate reason to have a third-party shipper.
Most community members involved in these fraud cases are unaware and become involved innocently, thinking they are taking a job. However, individuals who repeatedly involve themselves in such scams could be charged with the crime Theft by Receiving if they knowingly receive stolen property.
If anyone has fallen for this scam or is a victim, they should call non-emergency dispatch at (503) 629-0111.
Source: Washington County Sheriff