Common Methods Explained


The Most Common Methods Used In Social Engineering.

It doesn't matter who you're looking to social engineer and what your objective Is, In order to successfully complete the task at hand, there's one thing that each and every SE must have- and that Is the type of "method" used to achieve the result. In other words, you need to "plan" precisely how you're going to SE your target, Inclusive of the steps required to get what you're after. Whether It's SEing ASOS or Amazon for a refund or replacement Item, or physically attending a building and manipulating the receptionist to Insert your malicious USB stick Into her PC, the job cannot be done without "preparing your plan" beforehand. And the "plan" Is the "method" that's based on the nature of your attack vector. An analogy Is like trying to cook an exquisite meal for the very first time, without knowing the Ingredients and their quantities. Unless you can prepare the meal with a well-planned method, your attempt to cook It Is futile.

Simply put, a method Is: "what you are going to use, and how you are going to use It". I've come across many SE'ers who are somewhat confused, Ill-Informed or Indecisive about how methods are structured and the way they should be applied- which Is what prompted me to write this article. It's not possible to cater for every social engineering situation and event, hence I've focused on the new breed of human hacking, namely "company manipulation and exploitation". If you're an advanced SE'er, then you'll know exactly what this Involves. On the other hand, If you're new to the scene, please read my tutorial named Beginner's Guide to SE'ing. Either way, you're good to go. To avoid congestion, I've kept each topic to two paragraphs at the most. So without further ado, let's begin. The "Table Of Contents" below, runs In Its respective order so If need be, you can pick and choose your preference by using "Ctrl-F" on your keyboard. If you're on Linux or Mac, toss It and get a Windows-based PC!

Table Of Contents:

  • The Missing Item Method
  • The Corrupted File Method
  • The Leaking Battery Method
  • The Double Dip Method
  • The Cross Shipping Method
  • The Fake Receipt Method
  • The Boxing Method
  • The DNA Method
  • The FTID Method
  • The Sealed Box Method
  • The Broken Glass Method
  • The Gift Method
  • The Corrupted Video Method
  • Disposed Of The Faulty Item Method
  • The Wrong Item Received Method
  • The Partial Method
  • The Serial Number Method
  • The Reship Method

The Missing Item Method:  

As Its name Implies, It's commonly used by SE'ers to say that the Item they ordered from an online store, was missing when they opened the "package/box" as delivered by the carrier. For example, we'll pretend that you purchased a CPU from a UK electrical retailer named Currys and had It sent to your home by their carrier service. Upon "opening the box", you'd call them and say that nothing was Inside, meaning the CPU was missing- with the Intention to SE them for a refund or replacement. Alternatively, you can say that when you "opened the package", there was nothing Inside, meaning the entire box as well as the CPU was missing. Allow me to explain how each of these alternatives work.

It's either a "warehouse error" or a "manufacturer error". The former Is when you open the package and nothing was Inside, that Is, the box and Its contents were missing. This happens when the storeman picks your order, and he's totally forgotten to grab your Item from the shelf/racking, then sealed the package with nothing Inside and dispatched It thereafter. As a result, you didn't receive the entire goods. In terms of a "manufacturer error", you say that when you opened the "box", nothing was Inside. Essentially, the manufacturer neglected to put the Item In the box and sent It to the company, thus only the box was delivered to you. I recommend using the missing Item method with Items no greater than 120 grams  In weight.  

The Corrupted File Method:

During the process of assessing a claim for a refund or replacement, In order to complete the request, some companies ask the SE'er to provide a picture that must Include the Item Itself and other Identifiable details, like Its serial number and perhaps a handwritten note- to verify that the Item does In fact belong to the account holder. When the Image has been sent and fulfills the above criteria, the rep will approve the claim and Issue a refund or dispatch a replacement Item. To circumvent this, social engineers use the "corrupted file method" by doing exactly that- sending a file that's corrupted, therefore It will not open.

Naturally, the company will ask for It again, and the social engineer will keep sending the corrupted file, but In a "different file format each time"- just to give the Impression that he's doing his utmost best to comply with the company and resolve the matter at hand. The SE'er will assure the representative that the file Is working fine on his end, and complain In a firm yet polite manner as to why such a simplistic task cannot be completed. Through "perseverance and not taking no for an answer", the SE has a pretty good chance of success. The objective Is for the company to give In, and go ahead with the refund/replacement. 

The Leaking Battery Method:

Whilst this Is limited with the Items It can be used against, by no means does It Indicate that It's not as effective as the tradition methods like the DNA, wrong Item received and missing Item/partial. In fact, for high value Items that warrant Its usage, It has a better chance of success, namely because most other methods can be difficult to justify against the high cost of the Item. Here's how It generally works. When social engineering any Item that requires batteries to function, as Its name suggests, SE'ers use the "leaking battery method" to claim that the Item they've ordered from a given online retailer, was delivered with Its batteries leaking. Of course, nothing of the sort has happened- It's simply suggesting that the Item was not received In Its original state, and that the company Is responsible to fulfill their part of the deal by offering a refund or replacement.

For Instance, let's say the Item Is a "laptop" and the SE'er has said that Its battery was leaking when delivered by the carrier. It Is more than likely, that the company will ask to return It  and they'll organize a refund/replacement when received. On the other hand, the rep will tell the social engineer to take photos of the defective product, as well as a handwritten note and Its serial number clearly visible In the Image. Whatever the case may be, both requests can be easily manipulated. In terms of sending It back, the "disposed of the faulty Item" method can be used, or the SE'er will opt for a company who utilizes a carrier that does not accept dangerous/hazardous goods, thus they'll refuse to ship the laptop. Pertaining to the photo, the "corrupted file method" (as per above) will be used to SE the rep/agent.

The Double Dip Method:

When SEing a company In a typical social engineering attack, It's "only done once" and the rep/agent will credit the SE'ers account for the cost of the purchase Item. This Is where It ends, however when using the "double dip method", the SE'er will SE the same company and the same Item twice- hence "double dipping!". This Is how It's done. We'll assume the social engineer wants to SE two AirPods from the same company, without paying a single dime for either of them. Firstly, he orders just the one pair and decides to use the "DNA" (Did Not Arrive) method. After satisfying the company that the Item was (seemingly) not received, they decide to send out a replacement- meaning another set of AirPods. The social engineer now has two AirPods, but only paid for one. This Is a standard  SE. Next comes the double dip

The SE'er then calls the company and says that the replacement AirPods (that they just sent), are defective. After going through a few routine troubleshooting steps, the rep asks to send them back. The SE'er uses the "box method", by only sending back the box without the Item. Remember, the social engineer still has two AirPods but only paid for one. The representative thinks they were stolen during transit, and refunds the AirPods. All In all, "two AirPods were SEd"- one using the DNA method and the other using the box method. In other words, both Items were "double dipped". Because a refund was given, the SE'er has two AirPods without paying for either of them. I've tried to simplify this as best as possible and If you follow It carefully, It's very easy to understand.  

The Cross Shipping Method:

This Is not usually discussed In the social engineering community, so I'd thought It'll be handy for you to know precisely what It Involves. Legitimately speaking, cross shipping Is when a company delivers a replacement Item and at the same time, the customer sends back the defective Item. Essentially, the company gets the defective Item, and the customer gets the replacement Item. That's how It works In a legit environment, but not In the world of SEing. Firstly, the SE'er will "research the company's terms" to see exactly how their Cross-Shipping process operates. For Instance, prior to sending out the replacement Item, some companies charge the customer's account to the value of the Item and once they receive the faulty Item, they'll credit back the account. This ensures the company doesn't get scammed. The SE'er will avoid this by opting for a company that doesn't follow that policy.

Let's say the SE'er Is claiming a replacement for a nonfunctional GPU. After It's approved, he'll ask for a "Cross Ship" and the representative will Issue an "RMA" (Return Merchandise Authorization). As such, the company sends the replacement and the social engineer Is meant to send the faulty Item- which Is not the case at all. Instead of returning It, the SE'er will send an "empty box" and because the company has dispatched the replacement at the SAME time, the SE'er knows that he'll get It without fail! To prevent being tracked, he will use a "drop house/address" as the delivery point and of course, the account details & payment system that was used to make the original purchase (the "GPU"), are both fake. A "one-time VCC" (Virtual Credit Card) with fictitious details, anonymizes the payment and as for the Info on the account, well, It's not hard at all to falsify the credentials. Ultimately, the SE'er has successfully SEd a free GPU.

The Fake Receipt Method:

As opposed to SEing an Item by buying It and using any of the traditional methods like the DNA, missing Item, wrong Item received etc, many SE'ers use the "serial number method" by grabbing the serial (that's still under warranty) from someone on the net, and using It to request a refund. Whilst this Is enough for some representatives to process the claim with no questions asked, others will tell the SE'er to provide a "POP" (Proof Of Purchase)  which he obviously doesn't have. As with every SE, there's always a way to circumvent every obstacle and In this Instance, the social engineer will create a fake receipt  and send It off to the attention of the rep for a refund. However, It's not as easy as generating It within a few minutes and leaving It at that- It must be done In a systematic fashion, which brings me to my next point.

To avoid Inconsistencies, It's crucial that the "fake receipt matches the format & layout of the original receipt". To do this, the SE'er will buy something from the same company using a different account, and then work with that receipt by comparing It to his fake one. He'll also use the order number from the original receipt but only change two digits, so when the company punches It Into their system and It doesn't show up, It gives the Impression that It's an administration error on their end. In terms of creating the fake receipt, an online generator such as this does the job well or If It's an In-store receipt that's printed from their cash register, this website has many options to replicate the original. Alternatively, some SE'ers offer .PSD templates that're dedicated to specific stores, hence the social engineer will use Photoshop to edit It accordingly. Whatever the choice may be, they're all equally effective and a refund will be well and truly forthcoming.    

The Boxing Method:

With regards to social engineering major online retailers to the likes of Amazon, Logitech (and so forth) and claiming that the wrong Item was received or It's defective, for the most part, they'll ask to send It back prior to Issuing a refund or replacement. Evidently, the SE'er wants to keep It so to (seemingly) comply with their request, he'll use the "box method" also known as "boxing", by returning a box with nothing Inside or If the original Item Is rather heavy, a weight substitute Is used such as "dry Ice" to give the appearance as though It does In fact contain the Item during shipment. As simple as this may sound, It's Imperative to prepare the return In a very methodical manner by leaving nothing to chance. Allow me to explain precisely what this Involves as follows.

Pertaining to "dry Ice" which Is frozen carbon dioxide that sublimates (turns to gas), the social engineer packs this In the box, and not the Item. In doing so, he'll tear the box/package and seal It with different colored tape- with the objective to make It seem as though It was tampered with during transit. By the time the company receives It, the dry Ice would've sublimated (turned to gas) and because of the taping on the box, they'd think that the Item was actually stolen and approve the claim thereafter. In contrast to boxing with dry Ice, If the Item Is extremely light (< 120 grams), then the social engineer will still tear & tape the box, but will not place anything Inside. Given It's so light, It will not register at the carrier's weighing facilities, therefore the consignment cannot be cross-checked and the result will be the same- a successful outcome for the SE'er.   

The DNA Method:

So far, you've read a lot about this method, so It's time to explain what It entails. As Its name Implies, the "DNA" (Did Not Arrive) method  Is used to say that the package that was scheduled for delivery by the carrier driver, did not arrive at Its Intended destination- namely the SE'ers address. Naturally, the social engineer did receive It but for SEing purposes, he claimed otherwise. This method Is "carrier-based", thus It's compatible with just about any company who utilizes a carrier service to send goods to their customers. Also, unless you're social engineering a house (so to speak!), It's not specifically tied to any Items, so weights & dimensions generally don't have an Impact- meaning all that's of concern, Is claiming that the delivery did not reach Its address and get a refund or replacement. 

However, common sense and good judgement must be exercised when selecting an Item. For example, If It's a huge "1000 L fridge", then the carrier will not drop It off at the doorstep without a signature. That aside, SE'ers use the DNA method with great precision, by exploiting a major vulnerability In how companies deem their packages delivered. You see, a package that's marked as "delivered" does not conclude that It was "personally received" by the SE'er. That Is, the carrier did his job correctly by transporting It to the "correct house", but the SE'er wasn't the Individual who "personally accepted It". A passerby could've signed for It or stolen It from the doorstep! As you can see, there's a huge difference between the two, and that's what makes this method so effective. 

The FTID Method:

Before I Introduce this method, I'd like to make one thing perfectly clear- It's flawed and contains an array of Inconsistencies that ultimately result In a failed SE. Most SEers believe that this does In fact work each and every time, but I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth, hence don't bother wasting your valuable time, resources and money on such a deficient piece of BS. Now there Is one particular way that allows a "better" (not good, but "better") chance of success, however It's beyond the scope of this post to write a tutorial on that. Use the search function on this blog and you'll find my guide. In terms of the method Itself, "FTID" stands for "Fake Tracking ID", and Is all about having the tracking number shown as delivered, but the company has no physical nor administrative record of the package In their warehouse. This Is based on the SE'er returning the Item/package as per the company's request.

One method Is (supposedly) done by modifying the receiver's address on the shipping label, but leave the tracking number untouched, thereby the carrier driver will deliver It according to the address on the label- namely to the Incorrect destination. As such, the tracking number will show It's been sent to the correct place, but the physical package went somewhere else. Given carrier's operate on a scanning system at the "collection point", the same with checking the package In at "their depot" and also at the "drop off point", how on earth Is this supposed to work?  That's "three Individual scans" from sender to receiver! (based on a local delivery). Does the author of this piece of garbage, honestly believe that the driver will forget to scan the package three times and deliver It purely based on what's written on the label? Enough said. My view on this junk has been clearly demonstrated.

The Sealed Box Method:

I'd say this Is one of my favorite methods, for the fact that It can be used on a broad range of Items, and that the likelihood of Its success Is extremely high when the SE'er takes the time to methodically apply It. This Is not only suited to online stores like SteelSeries or John Lewis, but It can also be used when SEing "In-store" by returning the box In person- which In my experience, Is almost guaranteed to work In the SE'ers favor. As opposed to the wrong Item received method, whereby you need to purchase a cheap Item and send It when the company requests the return, the good thing about the "sealed box method" Is that there's no Initial outlay- you can use anything you like to replace the original Item In the box, thus you'll be making a 100% profit.

Here's how It works. Let's say you're planning to SE a GPU from Amazon. When you've received It, you can send It back for a refund by using their return options (example: Bought by mistake, No longer needed etc) but Instead of returning the Graphics Card, you pack anything that you have lying around the house In the original box and send that Instead. Now It's not as simple as throwing something In and dispatching It thereafter. Firstly, "the Item that you're substituting, must weigh the same as the GPU" (or whatever Item you're SEing at the time) and of greater Importance, Is to "seal the box precisely as per the manufacturer's packing"

The objective Is to not show any signs of tampering whatsoever with how you've opened and sealed the box, so when the company receives and scans It, they'll put It back In their Inventory and generate a refund Into your account. It's also Important that "the box must be fully covered In cardboard", therefore Its contents cannot be viewed externally. In short, If the sealed box does not show any Inconsistencies, then the rep will have no reason to check Its contents- and that's what makes this method so effective.

The Broken Glass Method:

To fully utilize this method's potential, It's vital to order an Item from a company that uses a carrier service to ship goods to their customers- with the Intention of It being damaged during transit, therefore the "carrier" Is responsible and not the social engineer. If you haven't already guessed by the title of this topic, the major drawback of the broken glass method, Is that It's limited to certain types of Items- namely those that're susceptible to breakage such as perfumes and colognes. That however, does not Imply that the method Is Ineffective. As a matter of fact, provided the SE'er applies It In a calculated and strategic fashion, It's one of very few methods that works without fail on just about every occasion, regardless of the company & type of carrier used.

How so, you ask? Well, given the purpose of this method Is (for example) to buy a bottle of perfume and claim that It was broken at the time of when the SE'er received and opened the package, It's very difficult (If not Impossible) for the carrier to prove otherwise. Anything could've happened to It from the collection point, to the carrier's depot and when transported to Its destination- the social engineer's address. Moreover and stating the obvious, "glass Is fragile" and Irrespective of how well It's protected, "It can break" when going through so many hands during shipment. Essentially, the SE'er will say that the bottle was smashed on receipt of goods, and have the claim approved. In the event the company asks for proof, such as a photo of the shattered glass, the SE'er will either Photoshop It, or use the "corrupted file method". Either way, a refund/replacement will be forthcoming. 

The Gift Method:

Although a typical social engineering attack Involves purchasing something from an online store, and then using any of the traditional methods (DNA, missing Item, wrong Item received etc) to manipulate the representative for a refund or replacement, not every SE'er has the funds to pay for It upfront. As such, he'd use the "serial number method" by grabbing a serial off the net that's still under warranty, and use that to SE the company In question. Unfortunately, It's not as simple as It sounds- for the most part, the rep will ask to verify ownership by requesting the "POP" (Proof Of Purchase) and when that's been fulfilled, only then will the claim move forward In favor of the SE'er. Evidently, he doesn't have the POP so the social engineer will use "the gift method" by saying the Item was given to him as a gift from a friend.  

In terms of circumventing the POP, the method tends to be quite effective, for the reason that the gifter no longer has the POP and didn't see the need to keep It. After all, why would anyone hold on to the receipt after they've given the respective Item as a gift? I certainly don't, and I'm sure you share the same opinion. In the majority of Instances, the SE'ers account Is credited or a replacement Is dispatched, but there are times when the social engineer Is asked to send It back, namely when he says that It's broken/nonfunctional. Rest assured, this can be bypassed- It's just a matter of being selective with the nature of the Item. All the SE'er has to do Is use the "box method" as already described a few topics prior to this one. To avoid the hassle of using dry Ice as the weight substitute, the choice of Item Is extremely light, thus It will not register on the carrier's manifest. All In all, the SE  Is destined to succeed.

The Corrupted Video Method:

The concept of this method, Is very similar to the "corrupted file method" but Instead of using a file, It's the "video" that will be manipulated In a very tactical manner that leaves very little to no room for error. In this guide, "you" will be the social engineer as follows. On the grounds that you're SEing a company for a "functional Item" that you haven't purchased to begin with, the first thing they'll do Is go through a few routine troubleshooting steps and obviously you'll say that It's still not working. Before deciding whether a refund/replacement can be Issued, the rep will ask you to take a video of the nonfunctional Item and (for example) upload It to YouTube. He may also ask to Include a handwritten note- just to verify that what you're saying Is true and correct. 

Now this may seem like a somewhat arduous task to evade, but believe me, It's fairly easy to work your way around their request, by simply uploading any video you like and "changing a single character In the URL"- which Is enough to deem It Invalid. The good thing about this, Is that "It will still show that It's hosted on YouTube", which gives the Impression that you've complied with what they've said but they're at fault for not being able to view It. No doubt they'll keep asking you to send the link, and you repeat the procedure and express your frustration as to why they cannot process such a simple task. The objective Is to reverse the situation by putting the blame on them, rather than the other way around and through perseverance and being adamant with your attack, they'll finally give In and approve your claim.  

The Disposed Of The Faulty Item Method:  

When an Item Is purchased that requires some type of functionality to operate, such as a laptop or computer keyboard, the fact Is that It doesn't always come shipped In Its faultless condition. Manufacturing defects are Inevitable and although most are Identified and fixed during the final Inspection by the quality control team, there are many that go unnoticed and leave the factory with Imperfections and ultimately end up In the hands of the consumer. Social engineers are well aware of this and use It to their advantage with the "disposed of the faulty Item method", by being very selective with the nature of the Item they're planning to SE and most Importantly, the reason why they decided to throw It out. The method can be used with something already purchased, or with the "serial number method" against an Item that's still under warranty.      

Here's how It generally works. For the purpose of this guide, I'll use an "electric toothbrush" as the faulty Item. The SE'er will contact the representative asking for a refund however In order to process It, the rep will request the Item be returned- which Is standard practice with just about every online retailer. Of course, the SE'er Is one step ahead and says: "The toothbrush blew up when my son was using It and due to my concern for his safety, I Immediately threw It out". In addition to that, he will also mention: "He sustained a burn to his hand, but thankfully the doctor said It's nothing to worry about". Can you see what just happened here? The SE'er not only used health & safety  as the reason for disposing the Item, but also made sure that It (seemingly) caused an Injury to his son. Companies take health & safety very seriously and given the severity of the circumstances Involved, a refund was Issued with no questions asked. Essentially, the social engineer SEd a free toothbrush without any complications.     

The Wrong Item Received Method:

Of all methods that you've had the pleasure of reading thus far, this one Is not only commonly used by the majority of SE'ers, but It's also the most versatile, meaning It's compatible with every company that has a warehouse full of stock. Unless you're looking to social engineer a car (so to speak!), there's almost no restrictions with the type of Item to be SEd, and that's what makes "the wrong Item received method" so effective. Furthermore, errors In picking & packing orders happen In every warehouse environment, which adds to the method's success rate. As Its name Implies, the SE'er will buy a product from (for example) Amazon and upon opening the package, he received the wrong Item. That Is, he got something completely different to what was originally paid for. Naturally and stating the obvious, this Is not the case at all.

After calling the rep and Informing him of the error, the SE'er will be required to send the (apparent) wrong Item back  however as simple as It may sound, the method must be prepared In a systematic manner to ensure the best chance of success, and here's how It's done. Let's say the original Item Is an "IPhone XS" that weighs around 210 grams. The SE'er will purchase a very cheap Item from Amazon themselves, on a different account and weighs roughly the same as the phone. This Is the wrong Item that he'll be sending back. Now when they receive It and scan It, It will show that It's part of their Inventory, hence they'll assume that they did make a mistake (by sending that) and as such, the SE'ers account will be credited for the cost of the IPhone.   

The Partial Method:

If you've read the very first topic In this article namely the "missing Item method" (If you haven't, go back and do so!), then you'll have no problem relating to what this entails. As per the title, the "partial method" also referred to as "partial", pertains to ordering a bunch of Items from an online store but claiming that your order was partially fulfilled. In other words and as an example, you purchased 5 Items however you only received 3 or 4 of those Items. It's based on the same principle as the missing Item method, but Instead of buying only the one and SEing that alone, you purchase multiple Items on the same shipment and then say that one or more were not In the box/package when you opened It. For this to work, the Item(s) that will be SEd, must be extremely light and not register a weight on consignment, therefore the company cannot cross-check the details with the carrier's records. I recommend a weight of no greater than 120 grams- and that's pushing It to Its limit.

From an SE'ers standpoint, here's a brief example of how It's used. He's placed an order for 6 Items In total, one of which Is a pair of Ray-Ban Justin Rectangular Sunglasses weighing around 29 grams- this Is what he'll be SEing. When his delivery arrived, the SE'er waited for 20-30 minutes, and then called the company explaining that the sunglasses were missing when he opened the package. As expected, they opened an Investigation to determine why there was a discrepancy between the dispatched and received goods, but due to the sunglasses being as light as a feather, there was no way that they could pinpoint where the variance occurred. As a result, their findings were Inconclusive, thereby they had no grounds to decline the claim and the SE'er was reimbursed for the full cost of the Ray-Ban sunglasses.     

The Serial Number Method:

The most common way to social engineer online retailers to the likes of Argos, Logitech and so forth, Is to buy the Item first and then use any one of the traditional methods thereafter. The main advantage of this methodology, Is that you have (where applicable) more than one suitable method, hence can select the one that's most likely to work In your favor. It's all well and good when funds are readily available, but not every SE'er has money to spare and that's when "the serial number method" comes Into action. Evidently, this relates to Items that do In fact contain serials such as computer keyboards, AirPods, speakers, SSDs (Solid State Drives) and the list goes on and for obvious reasons, It must be under warranty before the claim can begin. So how do you get your hands on a valid serial number, when you don't have the Item at your disposal? Well, If you play It smart you will have the Item, but on a temporary basis, and here's how It's done.

This Is referencing the social engineer from a third-person point of view. When he's chosen the Item that he'd like to SE, he will purchase the exact same one from a particular company  and when received, he'll open the box, locate & write down the serial number and return the Item for a refund. The SE'er will then contact "another company" that has the same one In stock, and tell the rep that It's not working and after going through a number of routine troubleshooting steps, the representative will be satisfied that a refund Is warranted, and credit his account for the full cost of the Item. Now the serial number method does have Its drawbacks. For example, the SE'er may be asked to provide a "POD" (Proof Of Destruction), that contains a video clearly showing that the Item has been destroyed-  by way of drilling holes Into It, cutting the cord, breaking buttons and so on and so forth. Needless to say, the SE'er Is well-prepared and will simply use the "corrupted video method" as already mentioned midway through this article.

The Reship Method:

If you're anything like myself, whereby you're registered with an active social engineering community, messages discussing the "reship method" are few and far between, which Is what prompted me to write a brief Introduction about how It's most commonly used by SE'ers. Before I get onto that, a reship Is also used for legit purposes, namely If you cannot have packages delivered to your current address due to shipping restrictions. As such, a reship company will accept the package on your behalf, and forward It to you. Makes sense? Good. Social engineers however, have other Intentions, one of which Is used with an "AR" (Advanced Replacement). This Is when the company sends a replacement Item and once It's received by the SE'er, he's supposed to send the defective Item back and failure to do so, will result In his account being billed for the cost of the replacement Item.

This Is where the "reship method" (or "reshipping method") takes effect as follows. When the package has been dispatched by the online store, It's delivered to the reship company's warehouse  and not to the SE'ers address. The reship service will then forward/send It to the social engineer. Now to add another layer of anonymity, the SE'er will use a fake account and a "drop address", thus will accept the delivery from the reship company at the "drop address"- that Is, at someone else's home! As a result, there's no way that the SE'er can be Identified, which Is a perfect environment for "Advanced Replacements"- he'll happily receive the replacement Item, without any concerns whatsoever about the company billing his account.  

In Conclusion:

There are many more methods used, perhaps some more than others, but apart from this article exceeding Its reading time by a lot more than what I anticipated, my objective was to cover those that both beginner and advanced SE'ers are frequently utilizing during company manipulation and exploitation. You'll also find that some of the aforementioned methods, can be used In more ways than what I've documented, but It's way beyond the scope of this article to cater for the lot. In closing, you now have the knowledge to formulate and apply any of the said methods In a very effective fashion, so there's literally no excuse to be at a loss as to how and when a given method should be Implemented.