Edmonton barista fired after falling victim to COVID-19 delivery scam


A longtime Edmonton barista has been shaken after being the victim of a COVID-19 personal protective equipment delivery scam. Although no money changes hands, the scam ended up costing the woman her job.It was a busy work day in September for the former barista at Starbucks Sydney Park when she got a call that changed everything.

« [They said,] “I’m calling because has your manager let you know you have an important package coming?” Park said.

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Park said the appellant claimed to be from Starbucks headquarters and that a package of COVID-19 safety equipment was on its way and supplies were needed to pass an upcoming health inspection.

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Moments later, she says she received a call from someone else claiming to be from FedEx, indicating that payment for the delivery had not been made. She ended up paying for the package with her personal credit card, which was originally suggested by the first caller.

« [Scammers are] able to adapt their pitches, existing pitches, to new situations and to play on this anxiety – fear, isolation, this lack of connectivity – in some cases with employees and companies ”, Jeff Thomson, analyst of RCMP fraud at Canadian Anti-Fraud Center, says.

Only later realizing that it was a scam, Park was fined $ 1,000.

“I was pretty upset about it, but I didn’t think much about it at the time,” Park said. “I thought everything was going to be okay.”

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Park, who has worked for the company for more than six years, says she finally got her money back on her credit card, but weeks later she was contacted by Starbucks management.

“They told me I was fired because of this social engineering scam that happened.”

In a separation letter she received from Starbucks, he goes on to say that she was let go because she provided an unknown caller with her personal credit card information instead of using the shopping card. store, and that she did not take the training.

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Global News has reached out to Starbucks for comment, but in a statement, the company said it is not discussing specific employment issues.

“I felt like it was an honest mistake, it might [have] has happened to anyone, ”Park said. ” It could [have] arrived on the next shift, and it happens every day and I didn’t feel like I had to lose my job because of it.

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Park says she has no desire to return to her job, but now hopes her story serves as a warning to others who might be caught in a similar situation.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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