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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: Writing and signing checks on someone else's account • Forwarding loose checks and envelopes.

Please take your time; read through the material carefully.

Basics of the scamForwarding package and/or paymentsMoney wired into your accountRe-wiring Western Union or MoneyGram paymentsWriting checksForwarding loose checks and sealed envelopesSecret Shopper jobsForwarding cash received by mail or packageReceiving credit cards or gift cards


Writing and signing checks on someone else's account

You cannot legally write your name on any account unless you have properly identified yourself with the bank and have signed the signature card.



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




To be named a signatory on an account that is not your own, the account holder must clearly state that it is his or her wish that you be authorized to sign checks. 

To authorize you to sign on his account, the account holder must complete a new signature card which you must also sign.  Before your signature is accepted by the account holder's bank, you must present valid identification to the bank, just like the account holder had to do when he opened the account.

Signing someone else's check

To sign a check on an account that is not yours and on which you have not been listed as an authorized signer (see above) is a criminal act called forgery and you can be arrested, convicted, and sent to jail for committing forgery. 

To paste a person's signature on a check is a criminal act called forgery and you can be arrested, convicted and sent to jail for committing forgery.  A check is not valid unless the check itself has been signed.

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Forwarding loose checks and envelopes

Scammers will often send sealed envelopes and loose checks to their employee targets with forwarding instructions.

The loose checks, money orders, Traveler's checks, and other drafts are counterfeit and the recipients are other Payment Processing Scam and Overpayment Scam victims.

The sealed and addressed envelopes contain counterfeit checks and money orders - and sometimes cash - and the recipients are other work-at-home employment scam victims who have received forwarding instructions.

As stated earlier under Forwarding packages, when the scamployer asks you to spend your own money on shipping costs, in this case, to buy stamps and envelopes, don't think for a minute that you will be reimbursed.

When the scamployer provides a carrier account number, such as a FedEx account number, to cover mailing costs, the account number is one that has either been hijacked from a legitimate company (usually a large corporation) or one that has been paid for with stolen credit card information.

Scammers never spend their own money if they can help it, and they certainly never spend their own money on any of their victims.

Next: Secret Shopper jobsForwarding cash received by mail or packageReceiving credit cards or gift cards

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


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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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