Denese Schmelzkoph admits to ordering books online, but was not expecting what happened next.
She said, "The next thing I know I stated getting these packages coming, and I am like, wait a second."
The boxes are addressed to Schmelzkoph Mechanical Services. Denese says no such business exists. Denese also found names on the shipping labels of people who don't live at her address. Schmelzkoph managed to contact one of these people.
She said, "One of the companies here, she had actually bought something from some time ago, but now her credit card had just been spammed for about $1,200."
After we called another name on the labels, the person we spoke with discovered said he too had unauthorized charges on his credit card of about $800.
When Schmelzkoph complained to the web site she ordered from, she was eventually contacted by email from a different company. That second company promised to fix problem by sending new labels for the boxes.
"I get the labels, and at that point we had three packages and all three packages are going to a house in Missouri," Schmelzkoph said.
Convinced the boxes were part of a something fishy, Schmelzkoph tried calling the authorities.
Schmelzkoph explained, "The police officer said there is nothing they can do because it is out of their jurisdiction."
We've tried to contact the website Denese ordered her books from and the website that is now telling Denese to send the packages to an address in Missouri and so far no one has called us back. But Dan Parsons with the Houston Better Business Bureau agrees something does not look right.
Parsons said, "In a case like this, at the end of the day, something scammy is going on, but what is it, who is the ultimate victim and who is the perpetrator?"
Some have suggested Denese just forward the boxes as instructed, but the problem with doing that is that you could be seen as participating in some kind of scheme The best thing for consumers to do is take it to UPS or Fedex and say you don't accept the delivery and you suspect fraud.
Since the packages were not sent by US Mail, the Postal Inspector cannot do much. They were sent by UPS, and the company's fraud division is now investigating what is going on with the packages and the company that sent them.