A surprise in disguise, Indeed

Posted by Sanchita Dutta Published on October 20, 2016

Mr. Singh, a retired Army general residing in Delhi spends most of his time tending to his lavish garden, reading books, meeting old friends over a drink and travelling along with his wife Ramneet. After getting their only daughter married a few years back, the Singh couple spends relaxed moments with friends and family. Their daughter’s annual visit from Canada brings in all the cheer and happiness in the Singh household.

With just a few days to Mr. Singh’s 75th birthday, phone calls, cards and gifts were pouring in from every corner of the world. A certain gentleman called up Mr. Singh to inform, that a package had arrived which was awaiting to be delivered at the Singh residence. On the other hand, very discreetly Mrs. Singh had planned for a surprise Birthday party and had invited a few close family and friends at a nearby Club. On Monday morning, while Mr. Singh was busy tending their garden along with the gardener, the doorbell rang. Mrs. Singh opened the door to a person wearing a uniform of a reputed courier company with a package in his hand. On enquiring, the courier boy had asked for Mr. Singh, as his signature was mandatory to hand over the package which contains a bottle of wine. Mr. Singh, who had overheard the conversation, appeared at the door and was curious to know the sender of the package. The delivery boy said that he was a mere delivery man and didn’t know the name and address of the sender. The delivery boy then explained that, there was a Rs 257.50 “delivery/ verification charge”, providing proof that he had actually delivered the package to an adult (of legal drinking age), and not just left it on the doorstep where it could be stolen or taken by anyone, especially a minor. As this sounded logical to Mr. Singh, he offered to pay the said amount by cash. The delivery boy further explained that he had to adhere to certain policies set by the company thus the payment had to be made in either a credit or a debit card only and not cash, so that everything is properly accounted for audit purpose.

Ramneet Ji, by then was already there at the door with the credit card and a smile. The delivery boy swiped the card on a small mobile card machine and asked Mr. Singh to key in the verification code. Mr. Singh did the needful in a jiffy as he was extremely anxious to open the package and unveil the name of the sender. The delivery boy handed over the receipt instantly and rushed off for his next delivery.

To the Singh couple’s utter disappointment, the sender’s name was not written anywhere on the package. Life carried on, Ramneet ji though confused, but was happy thinking that, in life surprises come in small packages and treated it to be a surprise trailer to the grand 75th Birthday. The real surprise shook the Singh couple when on the following Thursday, Mr. Singh received a few alert messages from his bank stating certain withdrawals and debits amounting to Rs. 1.50 lacs. The Singh couple was taken aback, to their utter shock they couldn’t react nor communicate as they were left traumatized with the incident. Apparently the “mobile credit card machine,” which the delivery boy carried, had all the information recorded, necessary to create a “dummy” card with all the card details and not to forget the verification code too.

On informing their daughter, Preeti in Canada, she instructed them to notify the bank and immediately request to stop payment, but it was already too late. Mr. Singh’s brother accompanied him to the closest Police station to lodge a complaint, on which they were informed that similar cases had happened in their area in the recent past. Thus, surprises which often come in small packages, should be avoided. May the general mass be alert and avoid such unpleasant surprises which hamper your life. Always be alert and cautious while receiving packages. Swipe cards only if you have initiated a payment yourself.

Now you can be doubly sure of a delivery boy on Pehechano or use the Android App. Companies can safeguard their reputation and also indemnify themselves from such impersonating fraudsters.