5 On Your Side

Cary company loses $10,000 in shipping scam

Posted July 21, 2021 4:10 p.m. EDT
Updated July 22, 2021 9:34 a.m. EDT

— A small, local company just trying to survive the hit from the coronavirus pandemic was hit just as hard by a shipping label fraud that could cost them and others thousands of dollars.

"When I got the first bill at $3,900, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, that’s crazy,'" said Dena Mangum, who owns MRC Integrated Technologies in Cary. "Then, the lady, when I called in, she was like, 'Oh honey, you have another one coming for $6,152.' I’m like, 'Oh my gosh, $10,000.'"

Mangum was billed $10,077.59 in shipping costs a buyer should have paid.

Mangum's company rents staging, lights and speakers for events. Shut down by the pandemic, MCR decided to sell some equipment that they no longer need on eBay.

Glenn Packard, of California, ordered 11 cable ladders at a cost of $530 and provided Mangum with shipping labels to cover the cost of getting the ladders to him.

"They were official FedEx labels, with the peel and stick QR code -- the whole nine yards," said Mangum. "They scan, scan, scan and drove off, and that was it. Nobody said anything, and nobody thought twice about it."

Two weeks later though, Mangum got the bills from FedEx. The company said the labels she was provided were printed fraudulently.

FedEx shut down that account and said Mangum was responsible for the bill.

"I knew priority overnight was not going to be cheap, but I was thinking more in the terms of like $1,000, $1,500, you know, not $10,000," said Mangum.

She contacted Packard.

"Hey, you know, something’s up, they’re not paying for it. Where did you get your labels?" she asked Packard. "That’s when he said, ‘I got them from a buddy’ and then he went dark, and that was it."

Turns out, shipping label scams are an issue that eBay and PayPal both warn about.

PayPal recommends that sellers not accept shipping labels from buyers.

A spokesperson for FedEx told 5 On Your Side that, "it appears from their investigation that Mangum was a victim of fraud," adding that "while there is no foolproof way to prevent it” they are “constantly monitoring for such activity"

But Mangum still has to pay.

"In the fine print, the shipper’s always responsible and that was it," said Mangum. "I find that to be very unfair, because we, as the shipper, put valid labels on a box and sent it off."

She is disputing the charge with her credit card company and has filed a report with police and the attorneys general in California and North Carolina.

So far though, no luck.

She added future orders will be prepaid.

"Or, you know -- no way," she said.

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