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‘Dirty porch pirate wrecked’ my Burnaby gate while stealing Amazon packages

Alert neighbour had thief on the run
amazon-thief porch
Some porch pirates look like real delivery people.

Steve loves the way he fixed up the front yard of his South Burnaby home.

He loves it a lot.

How much does he love it? He loves it more than the Amazon packages that were stolen from him earlier this year from a “dirty porch pirate” who “wrecked” some of his yard on the way out.

As Steve tells it, the porch pirate raced in to grab some Amazon packages that were by his front door. Steve wasn’t home yet, but a neighbour got a glimpse of what was happening and yelled out at the thief.

“So this dirty guy stealing my packages looks up and tries to run away while carrying the stuff,” Steve said. “Except that the biggest package starts falling out of his arms and he’s trying to juggle it and he crashed into my gate, which had closed because I put a spring on it. My neighbour – who is elderly – says the guy was frantically trying to get the gate open and ended up tearing it off the hinges before running off. So I was out the packages and I had to put more money into fixing my gate. Man, it’s just so stupid.”

These thefts seem to happen all of the time. In my building, packages often get left in the lobby or at someone’s door and they disappear because their neighbours steal them.

Scammers have also once again taken to impersonating Amazon, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns, this time in a text message scam known as the “Amazon raffle scam.”

The scam – also known as the “fitness watch text” or the “Apple Watch raffle scam” – sees a congratulatory text message pop up on consumers’ phones, claiming they’ve won Airpods, an Apple Watch or “some other enticing prize from Amazon,” according to the BBB.

“The text message also includes instructions to click a suspicious link to arrange delivery of the item.”

The bogus raffle and the suspicious link are part of a phishing con, to trick people into sharing account credentials as well as personal and financial information, the BBB said.

The BBB has shared the following tips on how to deal with text message scams:

  • Don’t believe every text you receive. As a general rule, companies cannot send you text messages unless you opt in to receive them. If you receive a text message from a company you have not given permission to contact you in this way, proceed with caution. In fact, any unsolicited text message should be considered a potential scam.
  • Know the classic signs of a text scam. In most cases, the text message includes an unusual link and may promise a reward, threaten a punishment, or generally appear harmless because it seems to be coming from an individual or organization you recognize.
  • Think before you click. Do not click on links in strange or suspicious text messages. This is likely an attempt to gain access to your personal information or install malware on your device.
  • Confirm the information. If an offer seems strange, or too good to be true, contact the company directly by looking up their official contact information online. Call or email customer service to find out if the text message you received is legitimate. 
  • Ignore instructions to text “STOP” or “NO”. Even if you realize the message is a scam, do not text back for any reason. Scammers may want you to text back to verify that your phone number is an active one. Instead, simply block the number so you won’t receive messages from it in the future.
  • Double down on security. In the event the text message was not sent to you randomly, update the login credentials for your Amazon account. If you clicked on the link, do a security sweep for viruses or any malicious software on your device.
  • Report any encounters with a scam. Share your scam experiences to help warn and protect others at BBB Scam Tracker.