The $1,000 Lego scam
When Chad Isch arrived home from work to watch the 2012 Summer Olympics, he found three large boxes of Legos in his foyer. The packages had been retrieved from his front lawn earlier that afternoon by a friend. But Isch, a 43-year-old sourcing manager from Marietta, Ga., was confused by the delivery because he hadn’t ordered anything of the kind.
Isch learned later that he’d been the victim of an online impersonation in which someone had ordered the Lego sets in his name, shipped them to his home, and arranged for PayPal’s Bill Me Later service to charge him almost $1,000 for the merchandise. The perpetrator must have had personal information about him, Isch learned from PayPal, including his address, birth date, and at least the last four digits of his Social Security number. He says the sheriff’s office told him that this type of fraud usually involves arranging for a home delivery while the occupant is at work, collecting it before the victim returns, then selling it online.
The sheriff’s office speculates that someone had been watching his house and learned his usual arrival time, according to Isch. What the crooks hadn’t counted on was the earlier arrival of his friend. Isch eventually returned the merchandise without incurring charges, though not without hours on the phone with Toys “R” Us and a trip to the sheriff’s office.
“The whole fiasco took about three months,” he says. To this day, Isch can’t fathom how anyone was able to get enough details about him to pull this off. “That’s the thing that’s scary,” he says. “I have no idea. I finally just let it go.”