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Q: Money Order Scam? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Money Order Scam?
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: drtrmiller-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 18 Mar 2006 10:00 PST
Expires: 17 Apr 2006 11:00 PDT
Question ID: 708809
I have an individual that lives over in England who owns a business
selling high end merchandise.  The individual claims that many U.S.
customers are wanting to pay in US POSTAL MONEY ORDERS, and he claims
that this is a problematic situation ("...cause the cost of coming to
the state and getting payments is
very expensive."  He wants me to be a U.S. representative to receive
and cash the money orders and transfer the cash to him.  Is there any
validity to his claims or could this be a scam?  What problems would
one encounter in the U.K. in cashing US POSTAL MONEY ORDERS?  Could I
be in any legal jeopardy?


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 18 Mar 2006 11:29 PST
I can't speak to your particular situation, but there is a scam going
on that I read about that works something like this:

1.  Please cash my check/money order/postal order for me

2.  Keep 10% (or whatever) for yourself, and send me the rest

What happens next is that the bank contacts you after a week or so,
and let's you know that the check/money order/postal order bounced,
and you then have to make good the amount.

Of course, you're then out whatever amount of cash you forwarded to
your 'individual' over in England.

Proceed with caution....


Clarification of Question by drtrmiller-ga on 18 Mar 2006 13:42 PST
Thanks a lot all.  Everyone has hit the thing on the head.  I don't
know this "individual" personally and was contacted by him/her in a
shady, spammish sort of way.  I've already emailed the person all my
non-private contact info, (name, address, ph) so any "U.S. Customers"
can mail their Money Orders to me and have supposedly landed the job. 
I'll cash them and hold the money for probably 2-3 weeks to see is
anything happens and then wire the 90% when it's safe.  Good idea, no?

Another thing I came across is that the individual gave me his/her
phone number.  I called the UK tele number and got the answering
machine automated message "You've reached mailbox number 478-447-xxxx.
 Please leave a message after the tone" (i censored the last four
digits).  I'm curious as to weather it's common for a UK phone
"mailbox" number to have the same number of digits as a U.S. tele
number.  I thought that was odd.

Anyways, thanks for all the comments and helpful responses.

Request for Question Clarification by cynthia-ga on 18 Mar 2006 22:04 PST
Ah....cashing the Money Orders is a bad idea...!  after you do that
and fail to forward the money, threats start. And you did give your
address, no?

BTW, area code 478 is in Central Georgia: Macon --nowhere the UK. Did
you call a country code first?
Subject: Re: Money Order Scam?
Answered By: cynthia-ga on 19 Mar 2006 01:52 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi drtmiller,

Someone has to step up to the plate here and give you the facts. In
your clarification, you gave many more clues and I located a
description of this very scam.

                  Job Seekers Beware!
  Check Processing, Payment Processing Work at Home Scam
Unwittingly stealing and laundering money for a "commission"

Click the link above to read any of these topics in detail:

? The parties involved in this scam 
? Elements of the scam 
? Where the scammers are located 
? What the scammers tell the truth about 
? What the scammers lie about 
? What's really going on 
? Who the scammers target 
? How people find the job offers 
? Where the money comes from 
? Where the money goes 
? How this scam got started 
? How the scam works 
? Recognizing the fraud: Analyzing a Payment Processor job offer
? Sample fraudulent employment letters 
? What to watch out for

Here's an excerpt:

..."The scam is composed of the following elements:

1) Persuading a job seeker to respond to an employment ad hiring
Payment Processors for a foreign company at 10% to 20% commission for
each payment processed.

2) Stealing the personal information of the job seeker and gaining
access to his or her computer through malware embedded in the email
correspondence, or embedded in the HTML of a fake corporate web site.

3) Selling that information into Identity Theft Black Market Databases.

4) Making the job seeker believe he or she has been hired by a
legitimate foreign company as a Payment Processor.  The job seeker is
now a job seeker victim.

5) Sending funds from account holder victims to the job seeker victim
in the form of counterfeit paper instruments or wire transfer of funds
stolen from an account holder's (Identity Theft victim) checking or
credit card account.  When funds are wired directly into the job
seeker victim's bank account or credit card account, or when the job
seeker victim is sent an electronic check, the account holder victims
are also Identity Theft victims.

6) Instructing the job seeker victim to wire all but 10% to 20% to
various so-called company officers or company authorized personnel,
and to do this by Western Union, Moneygram, or bank-to-bank transfer.

7) Getting the victim to do this as often as possible before the scam
is discovered either by the victim, the victim's bank, or law

WARNING: if any of the above list is familiar to you either personally
or as it relates to someone you know, STOP now and read this: Know
Your Miranda Rights and How to Use Them..."


With ALL the information you have now provided, I can assure you 100%
this is a scam. You should under no circumstances cash any of the
Money Orders or accept any payment of any kind, nor should you forward
any money to any individual involved in this scam.

There ya go, it's been said!

Search the fraudaid site, it's full of helpful information about
Internet Scams. Hope this helps..


Search strategy:
Have been to fraudaid in the past, recognized this scam after clarifications.
drtrmiller-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Outstanding!!! A+++!!!  Couldn't have done better!!!

Subject: Re: Money Order Scam?
From: cynthia-ga on 18 Mar 2006 11:12 PST
Did you know this person/friend BEFORE they contacted you about
accepting money orders? If not, I can assure you this is a scam. If
this is REALLY a friend, and you have known this person besides the
Internet, then it might be OK. I find it incredibly hard to believe
that US Money Orders are hard to DEPOSIT in a UK bank account.
Consider this, millions of business transactions between the UK and US
happen every day, a share of them are with money orders. There's money
exchange places all over London. Consider this-- It's possible this
friend is OK, but the people wanting to pay by Money Orders are NOT.
Being in the middle, you could be unwittingly involved in cashing
fradulent Money Orders.

Why not use PAYPAL? Paypal is international. Also, your friend could
get a US bank account at NetBank. NetBank is an ONMLINE BANK. He could
deposit them by mail himself --to his own bank account.

If your friend's customers are pushing for him to accept these money
orders then my bet is the customers are scamming. What happens is the
MO's get deposited, they clear for a couple days/weeks, then it is
discovered they are fraudulent, the money is deducted from YOUR
ACCOUNT --after your friend has shipped the ($-high-end-$)
merchandise. You're out the money with NO RECOURSE.

I don't think a 10 foot pole is long enough.

Postal Money Order Security


Subject: Re: Money Order Scam?
From: probonopublico-ga on 18 Mar 2006 11:48 PST
This is absolute rubbish because US $ Money Orders can easily be
deposited here in the UK!

There is a small charge but (except for very tiny amounts) this would
be very much less than the 10% that this scammer is proposing to pay

Congratulations on checking this out: you've just saved yourself A POT of money.
Subject: Re: Money Order Scam?
From: probonopublico-ga on 18 Mar 2006 22:07 PST

I'm curious as to weather it's common for a UK phone
"mailbox" number to have the same number of digits as a U.S. tele
number.  I thought that was odd.


Not only odd but totally IMPOSSIBLE.

Me? I would not get involved in any way wahtsoever!
Subject: Re: Money Order Scam?
From: frde-ga on 19 Mar 2006 01:38 PST
That is a scam

- the only question is whether it is Nigerian or East European

Shame you gave your address
Subject: Re: Money Order Scam?
From: cynthia-ga on 19 Mar 2006 12:36 PST
drtrmiller,  Wow!  Thanks so much for the kind words, the 5 stars, and
the generous tip!

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