Police Alert: Newspaper Delivery Tip Scam

Do you want to tip your newspaper delivery person? Make sure the envelope is addressed to the actual delivery man or woman, South Pasadena Police warn.

Scammers have found yet another way to wrench a few bucks away from the unsuspecting. 

A delivery man on Sunday was tossing newspapers onto residents' lawns about 4:30 a.m. when he realized he was being followed, South Pasadena Police said. The man watched the unidentified suspects walk up to the freshly plopped papers and stick something inside the plastic covering, according to the department's weekly crime bulletin. 

So the delivery man approached the suspects, attempting to confront them, but they drove away, authorities said. That's when the man discovered the suspects had been inserting a “holiday tip envelope” into each paper with an address not associated with the media outlet, or the delivery man. 

The suspects were driving a light brown Toyota pickup.

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Ron Rosen December 20, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Seems like a clever scam. Only those reading an article like this will be aware of it. How can the customer confirm whether they have a real or fake envelope? Seems like the scammers are going to a lot of trouble for a few bucks.
Donna Evans (Editor) December 20, 2012 at 06:27 PM
For us, our carrier left us a card with his name on the envelope. I would say if you'd like to tip your carrier and aren't sure, hand him/her the money personally. As for getting the word out about the scam, anyone who receives the South Pasadena Police community bulletin would also see it. If I lived in a town (I'm Downtown) so cool as to have local police email them community bulletins, I'd jump at the chance!
Joe Walker December 20, 2012 at 06:34 PM
What is the crime? Asking for money? It definitely is a lot of work for almost no returns.
henk friezer December 20, 2012 at 06:51 PM
The crime is defrauding the paper deliveryman of his due. He is the one who works at early morning hours to make sure the subscriber can have his paper with their AM coffee. What if somebody at your workplace collected your paycheck, is he only asking for money? I think you'd understand if it happened to you.
Joe Walker December 20, 2012 at 07:37 PM
I defer to Mr. Friezer, who's dad was one of the best known newspaper men/photographers in Northeast LA. The stories you guys could tell! : )
Tom Leonard December 20, 2012 at 07:53 PM
OK - I had two separate delivery return address's for my LA Times. I called the Times, and they told me that one was my delivery person and the other was fraudulent. So I called the South Pasadena Police Department, and they told me there was no crime and to just throw away the fraudulent Christmas Return letter !!!! Anyone care to respond to that???
Donna Evans (Editor) December 20, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Wow, @Tom that's sure a different portrayal than the department's crime bulletin, which called it fraud. Do you know who you spoke to? I'm wondering if it was someone at the counter who wasn't clear? Still - sounds like shabby advice!
Lela Bissner December 21, 2012 at 01:04 AM
I agree with Tom - call and find out who is the delivery person that gets up at 4:30 a.m. and make certain he/she gets the tip. I would think one could report the name of the person(s) fraudently asking for money to the So Pas Police and see if they can run their name and track them down. Tis the season!!! Lela
Carrie Adrian December 21, 2012 at 05:06 AM
Gustavo, my newspaper delivery person is great. He leaves my paper on the top of the wall rather than tossing it into my flowers on the patio. I waited until I heard his truck this morning, and gave him my envelop with thank yous in Spanish. It is a tough job and I appreciate his first class service.
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