NBC 6 Responds

Shipping Scam Targets Doral Businesses and Online Sellers

NBC 6 Responds wanted to know what was behind these fraudulent shipments, so we went to the shipping addresses and they took us to several freight forwarding companies in Doral

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Quinn Reitz said her company, Nursing Queen, ships items across the country daily. But recently, she has noticed a trend after she got an online purchase with a shipping address in Doral.

“It was just for one dress and the customer opened a chargeback which means they disputed it on their credit card, so it was a stolen credit card,” Reitz said.

She said she ran into the same issue again.

“I got another fraudulent order from Doral, Florida for $260. We shipped it and a chargeback was opened,” Reitz said.

Reitz quickly discovered she isn’t the only online seller running into issues with shipments headed to Doral.

Other sellers are complaining in online forums. One person wrote they received about 20 fraudulent orders and “all of them were shipped to Doral.” Another person stated  “Search ‘Doral’ in this group. Dozens of us have got the same fraudulent order. Cancel Immediately.”

NBC 6 Responds wanted to know what was behind these fraudulent shipments, so we went to the shipping addresses from Quinn’s orders and they took us to several freight forwarding companies in Doral.

Workers at those companies didn’t want to talk on camera, but told us they are also victims.

“The freight forwarder often becomes an unwilling participant,” Doral Police spokesperson Rey Valdes said.

Valdes says because of the city’s proximity to the airport, it is a hub for freight forwarding companies and scammers are targeting them.

He says the scam starts when someone gets ahold of your credit card information. From there, they open a fake account at a freight forwarding company. They use that same credit card information to illegally buy items online and ship those items to the company’s address. By the time the credit card purchase is flagged, the stolen items are most likely already headed overseas to the forwarding address.

“Once the goods leave the United States, it is virtually impossible to get those goods,” Valdes said.

The Office of the US Postal Inspector can also step in to investigate.

“We have partners outside of the United States that have helped us with this investigation,” Blanca Alvarez said.

Alvarez is the Public Information Office with the Miami Division of the Postal Inspection Service. She said victims can also report this crime to the Federal Trade Commission and reporting the crime to multiple agencies helps law enforcement connect the dots.

“We can identify suspects from other countries and bring them to justice here in the United States,” Alvarez said.

As for Reitz, she said she’s flagged all orders listing Doral warehouses and was able to cancel three additional ones.

“I don’t appreciate you scamming someone like me or any of us,” Reitz said.

There are a couple of things online sellers can do to spot fraudulent orders. Experts suggest using software to help you verify the IP address or install fraud protection apps.

You can also try calling the phone number or searching the email address on the order. You should also check if multiple orders have the same addresses but different billing addresses.

If you aren’t sure the buyer is legitimate you should cancel the order. You can also report shipping issues to the Office of the U.S. Postal Inspector General.  

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