‘COD scam’: Pinoys warned against receiving packages they didn’t order

December 22, 2022 - 5:24 PM
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A businesswoman warned Filipinos of receiving packages that they did not order in the first place.

Diana Lacse Hortilano on December 19 shared that an individual she did not know called her to say that the latter received a package from courier Flash Express under the businesswoman’s name.

Despite it being named after Hortilano, the package was delivered to other people.

The package was marked as a cash-on-delivery or COD and the caller, Hortilano narrated, was told by the delivery rider to pay P250.

The businesswoman said that the caller obliged.

The caller then phoned Hortilano based on the information printed on the waybill to confirm if the businesswoman really had a package for delivery.

“The ANSWER IS NO! Wala akong pinadala na KAHIT ANO under my name…” Hortilano said in a Facebook post.

She said that the caller was also apparently victimized by the same modus.

According to Hortilano, the caller similarly received a package despite not ordering anything.

“Sa kanya din nakapangalan ‘yung items,” the businesswoman told Interaksyon, referring to the caller’s experience.

Hortilano said that three persons have so far received packages from the courier service under her name. Others have paid, while some refused to pay.

The businesswoman said that she already messaged Flash Express’ Facebook page and sent them an e-mail.

“‘Di sila maka-response about using my name,” Hortilano shared, referring to the courier.

The businesswoman said that she has yet to receive a response from them.

Hortilano also shared her experience to make others aware of the modus.

“BEWARE NA [LANG] PO TAYO NGAYON SA MGA SCAMMER,” she said on Facebook.

“SORRY SA MGA NA-SCAM NILA USING MY COMPLETE [INFOS]. Please SHARE! BAKA MERON PANG NAKA-RECEIVE [NG] ITEMS UNDER MY NAME or SA IBANG NAME NA ‘DI RIN ALAM NA GINAGAMIT ‘YUNG INFOS NILA FOR SCAM..” Hortilano added.

Hortilano also made a follow-up post on December 22.

“@FlashexpressPH, ano na?? Any response? As of now, 3 [three] persons na naka-receive [ng] lotion under my name! How come? ANY ACTION REGARDING THIS MATTER!? Hoping this will end soon, at wala nang maka-receive [ng] ganitong items! Na hindi alam nong mga taong ginagamit [niyo] for scam!” she wrote.

“Buti na [lang] maliit na halaga lang ‘yung parcel na ‘yun? Paano [kung] malaking halaga ‘yun? ‘Diba, edi nasira na ‘yung PANGALAN ko! Without knowing na [ganoon] na nangyayari!” the businesswoman added.

Anti-scam tips 

The courier service has been sharing anti-scam tips and other information about such modus on Facebook.

Its most recent post about the issue was on October 7, when it reshared an awareness post from Shopee Cares PH.

It advised online buyers to cover the information on their waybill or tear it to avoid scammers from exploiting their details.

The courier also posted its own version the day after sharing Shopee Cares PH’s infographics.

Last August, the courier service also warned buyers to beware of COD scams.

Flash Express also said that the public could refuse packages supposedly addressed to them under the following conditions:

  • If they are not expecting any orders for delivery
  • If the waybill is tampered or damaged
  • If the parcel was already opened upon delivery

“Maging vigilant at ‘wag tumanggap ng mga parcels if walang expected order na tatanggapin,” it said.

Last March, the courier service said that the public could contact its 24/7 customer service in cases of delivery of suspicious packages. It said they could be reached at 8539-4002.

Online scams can be covered by the following laws:

  • Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (RA 10175) or crimes committed through and with the use of information and communications technologies;
  • Consumer Act of the Philippines (RA 7394) or protection against deceptive, unfair and conscionable sales acts and practices; and
  • Electric Commerce Act of 2000 (RA 8792) which penalizes fraudulent dealings, transactions, arrangements, agreements, contracts and exchanges, and storage of information through the utilization of electronic medium.

The Philippine National Police has an anti-cybercrime office and hotlines where victims of digital scams can file their complaints.

The PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group can be contacted on its hotline at (02) 723-0401 (local 7491) or Viber at 0915-589-8506 or 0966-627-1257.

The public can also reach the authorities through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.