Delivery drivers have been known to get up to some strange behaviors, but a conflict defense specialist on TikTok recently offered viewers tips on how to protect themselves against fake company delivery drivers in a viral video posted to the platform.
In the clip, which has been viewed over 673,000 times since it was first posted on July 28, user John Duza (@selfdefensehacks) shared a series of news clips to illustrate the danger customers face when accepting deliveries, and he shared tips on how to avoid being caught in such a situation.
In the video, Duza used a 2019 NBC News broadcast about a family that was robbed of over $100,000 by a man who tied them up after he gained access to their home by pretending to be a FedEx driver.
@selfdefensehacks BEWARE OF THIS DELIVERY SCAM FOR ATTACK! 😳🤯 ……….. #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #fypシ #selfdefense #safetytips #protectyourself #conflictdefense #situationalawareness #homedefense #deliveryscam ♬ original sound – John Duza | Conflict Defense
The broadcast also showed clips of robberies in Texas and New York, followed by a similar Fox News report of multiple break-ins in the Oakland Hills area this past summer. There, robbers in Amazon delivery vests stole purses, shoes, and jewelry in addition to cash.
The last clip was a broadcast from Inside Edition detailing a 2022 home invasion in Pasadena, Texas, where two fake drivers wielding guns forced three people inside the house onto the floor. A woman was physically assaulted by one of the men before being led into another room, and Duza guessed that something worse occurred off-camera.
His first piece of advice: Install cameras both inside and outside your home. That way, “You can see everything without opening your door,” he explained in the video.
People who don’t have cameras should avoid opening their doors to strangers, Duza added, instructing viewers to talk through the door to delivery drivers to make sure they’re not fake. “[Let] your presence be known, so that way they don’t think the house is empty and they can just bust in and steal everything.”
He also recommended that viewers train in some type of self-defense in order to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their possessions.
In the comments, users dropped their own tips for staying safe when dealing with package deliveries.
“Change your delivery settings to leave packages at the door,” one user suggested. “You will still receive a delivered package notification.”
Several others also shared that in order to avoid fake delivery drivers finding their addresses and showing up at their homes, they simply forward their packages to other stores for pick-up. “Don’t answer the door anymore and tell them you’ll pick it up at the local hub,” someone advised.
Some viewers pointed out that customers take the biggest risk with Amazon package deliveries, noting that they often have the same drivers for FedEx and UPS but never know who will deliver their Amazon orders. “Always somebody different,” one person said. “Like others pointed out, they also drive their own cars sometimes.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Duza via Instagram direct message.
Update 3pm CT, Sept. 22, 2023: In an interview with the Daily Dot, Duza stressed the importance of learning self-defense, stating that it was a great confidence booster and source of empowerment for all. Based in San Diego, California, he’s taught seven different kinds of mixed martial arts and tactical self-defense and weapons tactics courses for over 30 years.
“We as law-abiding citizens need to change our mindset and learn how to protect and defend our livelihoods,” Duza told the Daily Dot. “The alternative is being a victim or a corpse from an attacker.”
He pointed to the news clips included in his video for proof.
“Law enforcement can only do so much,” Duza said. “[Self-defense] eliminates the fear of not knowing what to do in a conflict situation. When you have these life-saving skills, you’re able to neutralize any threat and save lives.”