Fraudulent FedEx shipments: how does this work?

Earlier this week, someone got into my FedEx account and created about thirty express shipments. the FedEx folks somehow flagged these as suspicious and contacted me. Their fraud rep was kind enough to email me a list of the suspicious shipments. The recipient names are all fake, but the addresses, scattered all over the US, check out on Google Maps.

It’s all been dealt with at this point, but I’m curious what those shipments would have been if they had been permitted to go through. Since the destinations were all over the country, it’s not like one guy was going to go steal these off of everyone’s front porch. So what was the gain for whomever created all these shipments? :confused:

I am guessing that one or more were legit, the recipeint either was in on it or there was some way to intercept the shipment? What were they trying to ship?

How reliable is FedEx delivery records? If the cops come along and say “John Smith accepted a delivery here,” the recipient says “no idea what you’re talking about, there is nobody here by that name and we never saw that parcel… We were out on Thursday when it allegedly arrived.” Can FedEx verify anything? If I were putting this together, I would have Joe’s cousin Bob come over, answer the door and take delivery, so that the FedEx guy would look at my mug shot and say “nope, it wasn’t him that answered the door.” If it was turned into a sting, cousin Bob would would say “some stranger paid me $50 to wait here and take delivery.”

I was just told about an eBay scam where the perpetrator sends a fake shipment to that same ZIP code as a winning bidder, it shows as “delivered” by shipper’s records so the fake shipper is protected from Paypal disputes.

I have no idea if that is the case here, but it would make sense to distribute the fake shipments among several accounts

They get your Fed Ex number and sell it online. This way they make money and the people who buy the number think it’s legit so they are truly surprised at the result.

Yeah you should know better than to buy a number off the Internet but people do. They will put a sob story in Craigslist like, I got robbed and have no money to feed my cat. I can’t buy cat food with Fed Ex, but you can use my number and give me the money for cat food. This way by the time the Fed Ex bill is due, I will have my next paycheck.

Where were the shipments from?

Why the fake names, then? The only thing I can think of is that the scammer told them they had to use a certain name when making the purchase, but why would he do so?