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The Truth vs. The Scam:


Work at home processing or reshipping checks, money orders, envelopes, and/or merchandise; receiving money wired into your account; writing checks on somebody else's account; secret shopper jobs; forwarding cash received in a package, by mail, by Western Union or MoneyGram; and receiving credit cards or gift cards from a foreign employer or someone you met online.


This page: More basics of the scam • Forwarding packages.


Please take your time; read through the material carefully.

Basics of the scam • Forwarding packages and/or payments • Money wired into your account • Re-wiring Western Union or MoneyGram payments • Writing checks • Forwarding loose checks and sealed envelopes • Secret Shopper jobs • Forwarding cash received by mail or package • Receiving credit cards or gift cards


THE SCAM, continued from Page 1


Western Union and MoneyGram were designed to send money to friends and family, not to send money to strangers.



• The money you send to an Asian or a Kuwait bank account (or any bank account) does not sit in the account for very long.  Bank accounts can be opened online with signature documents submitted by surface mail, and the funds can be moved to other geographical locations through online banking.  If you send money to an Asian bank, even if your bank contacts the Asian bank to retrieve the funds, in most instances the return of the funds will be refused.

• If you are asked to accept and forward money or packages, you are setting yourself up in business as a forwarding agent.  That means you must have a license to do so, must be bonded and insured, and abide by the laws of your country, state, county, or Province for such activity.  You must account for each item you forward, keep books, file tax reports, etc.


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• Any company or individual, anywhere, can open an account in another country to process payments made in that country. 

Example: If Fraud Aid, Inc. had a customer base in the UK, it would open a UK bank account. 

We would then hire an accounting (or bookkeeping) firm in the UK to accept Euro payments, depositing checks made payable to Fraud Aid, Inc. into the Fraud Aid UK account.  The accounting firm would not be able to make withdrawals from the account or write checks on the account. 

The accounting firm would file Fraud Aid income tax forms for UK taxes (which a Fraud Aid corporate officer would have to sign) and provide an accounting to Fraud Aid of UK expenses.  The accounting firm would be paid by check written on the UK account and signed by a Fraud Aid officer.

• You must pay your taxes on all income, including any commissions earned, regardless of where or how earned those commissions were obtained and regardless of the geographical location of those paying you the commissions.

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•  Money sent by Western Union or MoneyGram is untraceable once it has been picked up.  Funds sent by this method can be picked up at any Western Union or MoneyGram office regardless of where you sent it.  This is not how business is conducted. 

Exception: some companies, such as car loan companies, have Western Union and MoneyGram accounts specifically designated to receive payments for that company.  This maintains the money trail (paper trail).

• You are 100% responsible and liable for any check or money order you endorse and cash, and for any funds placed into your bank or credit union account, whether you deposited the money or someone else did.

By law you must repay the bank, credit union, or store when you have deposited or cashed checks or money orders (drafts) that proved to be of no value.  It is the same in all countries, at all financial institutions and stores. 

Your signature on the back of a draft is a contract stating that you take full legal and financial responsibility for that draft.   This is called an endorsement, meaning you endorse or approve of the check because you have personal knowledge that the draft is good and true.

When you opened your account at a bank or credit union, by signing the signature card you agreed to be take full legal and financial responsibility for anything that is deposited into your account by you or anyone else.

• Cleared checks: "Clear" is only bank lingo for a draft (check or money order) moving through a system designed to debit an account at one bank and credit an account at another bank.  The system is generically called the Clearing House and there are many throughout the US and other countries.

During the process, the account that is being debited is electronically checked to ensure that the account is open, that there is enough money in the account to cover the draft, and that there are no flags on the account that may affect the debit.

The Clearing House does not verify that the account holder whose account is being debited actually wrote the check or authorized an electronic check (ACH).  An account holder has up to 12 months to report an unauthorized draft to his bank.

Because it is incumbent on US banks to make funds available to their account holders as soon as possible, banks will credit an account holder's balance with the amount of a draft before it receives the credit from the bank on which the draft was drawn. 

When you see "funds available" or "funds pending," it means that you have been given a provisional loan from your bank.  If the draft is returned, your bank has the legal right to sweep all funds from your account, including any automatic deposits you receive from employer or government sources.

Nigerian and Former Soviet Union scam network chiefs have a better understanding of the banking system than most bankers and use that understanding to full advantage to rob individuals and banks worldwide to the tune of amounts totaling billions of dollars.

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Next: THE TRUTH - Forwarding packages and/or payments • Money wired into your account • Re-wiring Western Union or MoneyGram payments • Writing checks • Forwarding loose checks and sealed envelopes • Secret Shopper jobs • Forwarding cash received by mail or package • Receiving credit cards or gift cards

  If you are involved in one of the scams mentioned on this page, go here:  What to do and how to do it.





Direct deposits

and Bill Pay


Ideal for the scam victim whose account has been frozen

Ideal for anyone who doesn't have a checking account

Ideal for anyone who doesn't want to give out their main credit card numbers.


If you are acting as a collection agent (receiving payments) or re-shipper (forwarding agent), by law you must familiarize yourself with the state and federal laws governing collection agents and forwarding agents.

You need a contract for your clients to sign, and an attorney should write it for you.

You must abide by all internal control, compliance, and reporting regulations of the country and state in which your business is operating.

Funds should be deposited directly into your employer's bank account (an account on which you are NOT a signatory), opened in your country of residence by your employer under the employer's company name.

Business payments are not sent through Western Union or MoneyGram, which leaves no money trail and the funds can be picked up at any Western Union or MoneyGram office by anyone with the correct code or [fake] ID, regardless of the office you specified on your wire instructions.


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