The Package Forwarding Scam
Internet shipping scams or the package forwarding scam has been around for quite a while. Several contrasting scenarios are engaged in the execution of this scam, but it all plays out to the same conclusion. Packages are shipped to an unsuspecting accomplice, and then reshipped to another address ( usually untraceable ) in an effort to launder products purchased online with stolen credit card numbers.
Generally, the scam artist sends out thousands of unsolicited emails in order to lure individuals into their web of lies, promising large sums of money with very little effort. Targets are normally persons looking to supplement their income with a part-time job. The email suggests to them the very easy job of becoming a personal assistant.
These emails follow a particular pattern;
First, the email link arrives.
Clicking on this link leads to a letter from a fictitious employment agency advertising a job for a personal assistant. This is an actual email I received. I attempted a little research on the named employment agency and discovered the agency did indeed exist. However, this ploy is typical in practically every online scam in existence. Claims are made pretending to represent the agency/company in question.
They allegedly represent an individual who is most times some sort of professional, currently traveling abroad with regards to his/her profession. Stating also that Mr./Mrs. X is very busy tending to business in another country and cannot see to the needs in other areas of business and personal activities, requiring additional help until such time as they return to the USA or whatever the country of origin of the potential victim.
A small application form is enclosed with simple information requirements.
- Full name
- Do you have a bank account?
- Do you prefer a cashiers check or a wire transfer directly to your account?
The last two questions being extremely odd for a “job application” don’t you think?
The Next Step
After filling out the “application”, another email is sent confirming your application and informing you the job is yours!!! Looks a little like this. This email was an actual email sent to me after I applied for a P.A. job. Never deposit one of these checks into your account. They are fake and you will end up on the wrong end of fraud charges.
The Way It Works
This scam is simplistic in its execution. The personal assistant is told they are to receive packages and forward them to another address. These products are purchased with stolen credit card numbers harvested in phishing schemes.
Now if it were me, I would suspect some sort of illegal products within the package. Always one step ahead, this frame of mind is anticipated by the scammer. For this reason. the “assistant” is invited to open the packages to inspect the products before reshipping or forwarding to the given address.
This accomplishes two things:
- Relieves the state of mind of possibly shipping illegal products.
- Effectively “launders” the stolen products and washes the hands of the actual perpetrator.
The scam has several forms of execution. Three of which are listed here:
The packages are sent to the local post office and you can pick them up for inspection at your leisure.
The packages are delivered to your home and inspected before the forwarding occurs.
I think this style is probably the most reprehensible. Listen to this: The packages are shipped to a third party and you are sent to the home of that third party in order to collect the packages for inspection and forwarding. Informing them that the packages were shipped to their home by mistake.
The reprehensible part and perhaps amusing to the scammer is this fact: When the scam is performed in this manner. the credit card used is the credit card owned by the individual to whom the packages are shipped. Matching the address of the credit card. Not having received the bill yet they are none the wiser.
Never take this email at face value. It goes without saying ( going to say it anyway ) that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. These scams usually come with a fake check to deposit into your account, ramping up fraud charges if you are caught. I can guarantee you if a fake check is deposited into your account and the money goes out…
YOU will be caught! Unfortunately, you’ll take the fall for the entire operation.. and possibly end up on the bad side of a pair of handcuffs.
Source: Free Help Making Money Online
The “reshipping” scheme requires individuals in the United States, who sometimes are coconspirators and other times are unwitting accomplices, to receive packages at their residence and subsequently repackage the merchandise for shipment, usually abroad.
“Reshippers” are being recruited in various ways but the most prevalent are through employment offers and conversing, and later befriending, unsuspecting victims through Internet Relay Chat Rooms.
Unknown subjects post help-wanted advertisements at popular Internet job search sites and respondents quickly reply to the online advertisement. As part of the application process, the prospective employee is required to complete an employment application, wherein he/she divulges sensitive personal information, such as their date of birth and social security number which, unbeknownst to the victim employee, will be used to obtain credit in his/her name.
The applicant is informed he/she has been hired and will be responsible for forwarding, or “reshipping”, merchandise purchased in the United States to the company’s overseas home office. The packages quickly begin to arrive and, as instructed, the employee dutifully forwards the packages to their overseas destination. Unbeknownst to the “reshipper,” the recently received merchandise was purchased with fraudulent credit cards.
The second means of recruitment involves the victim conversing with the unknown individual in various Internet Relay Chat Rooms. After establishing this new online “friendship” or “love” relationship, the unknown subject explains for various legal reasons his/her country will not allow direct business shipments into his/her country from the United States. He/she then asks for permission to send recently purchased items to the victim’s United States address for subsequent shipment abroad for which the unknown subject explains he/she will cover all shipping expenses.
After the United States citizen agrees, the packages start to arrive at great speed. This fraudulent scheme lasts several weeks until the “reshipper” is contacted. The victimized merchants explain to the “reshipper” the recent shipments were purchased with fraudulent credit cards. Shortly thereafter, the strings of attachment are untangled and the boyfriend/girlfriend realizes their Cyber relationship was nothing more than an Internet scam to help facilitate the transfer of goods purchased online by fraudulent means.
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