Tech-enabled express logistics provider Ninja Van Philippines has warned the public against falling prey to the so-called “cash-on-delivery parcels” scam, which duped online buyers through fraudulent deliveries.
Ninja Van revealed that the sharp growth of e-commerce in the Philippines over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when most of the people has resorted to online purchases, has also given rise to incidents of unexpected cash-on-delivery (COD) parcels.
For the past six months, Ninja Van recorded over 200 reports of these incidents.
“We urge the public to be extra prudent in receiving parcels when they are not expecting anything, especially if there is payment involved. As a logistics provider, our riders only depend on the data provided on every parcel and would only collect money if the parcel states so,” Martin Cu, country head of Ninja Van Philippines, said in a statement.
Ninja Van, along with other logistics providers, has been faced with the threat of fraudulent deliveries. “It is imperative for us to protect not only our name, but also the general public who can fall prey to these unscrupulous scams,” Cu stressed.
The COD modus is being committed when an unscrupulous shipper sends out parcels to random unsuspecting individuals under the cash-on-delivery mode of payment.
The unsuspecting recipients, thinking it might have been one of their orders online, would pay for the amount stated in the parcel, only to find out it is not something they were expecting, or worse, they did not order it at all.
Because of this, the tech-enabled express logistics provider is stepping up its information drive across the region, including the Philippines, to help curb similar incidents from happening.
Ninja Van encouraged the intended recipients to check the label and make sure the parcel is addressed to you or someone who lives in the same household; check your online purchases and if you are certain that you did not make any purchase, kindly refuse accepting the parcel, since it will not be a cost on the delivery rider.
The logistics provider also suggested to check the amount, and if you are considering paying for the parcel, check the amount stated on the tag and if it actually states COD.
It also urged the recipients that every time they receive a parcel, they must make sure that it is properly sealed and there are no signs of tampering; and check the credibility of sellers.
“Place orders only with credible websites and sellers that have positive authentic reviews or from whom you have successfully transacted with in the past,” Ninja Van stressed.
The provider vowed to utilize its assets on social media to spread awareness on how the public can prevent themselves from falling prey to this scheme.
If someone mistakenly accepted and paid for a parcel, Ninja Van recommended the immediate filing of a complaint through their customer service numbers or email addresses.
The process can take up to 11 working days, as certain steps have to be undertaken to ensure the validity of claims and protect orders from legitimate businesses.
“Ninja Van prides itself on ensuring that the integrity of each and every parcel is intact from the moment it is sealed by the shipper up to the moment that it is opened by the recipient. While there are certain protocols in place to ensure that there are no illegal substances in these shipments, the company, in observance of the privacy of the stakeholders involved, cannot and will not open the parcels,” Cu pointed out.
“Whenever a shipper is flagged, either for sending the wrong items or suspected fraudulent COD deliveries, they are immediately flagged in our system. We constantly monitor and conduct investigations on erring shippers to ensure that we are not being used for fraudulent activities,” Cu said.
According to the Ninja Van executive, the company adheres to stringent internal anti-fraud policies to ensure the safety and security of the public that it serves.
But in the instance that a shipper is found to have engaged in fraudulent activities, the company discontinues providing service, cash collected under the cash-on-delivery mechanism is withheld, and refunds are issued to affected customers, the Ninja van explained.
The logistics provider also stepped up its requirements and background check on its shippers both here and abroad.
“There will always be people and organizations who will try to take advantage of the system and a logistics provider can only do so much. That is why we are stepping up our information drive so the public will know what to do and will not be victimized by these scams,” Cu said.
“It is only with the cooperation of all stakeholders, especially the public, that we will be able to put a stop to this modus.”
Ninja Van urges the public to be extra prudent in receiving unexpected parcels, especially those that require payment. Persons who might have been victimized by the said scheme can reach out to the Ninja Van customer service team for assistance via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or through phone at (02) 82711501, Cu added.