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Money Transfer Scams

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The U.S. Postal Inspection Service recently distributed thousands of checks totaling $46 million to people who lost money in scams that involved MoneyGram, a popular money transfer service.

According to law enforcement officials, from 2004 to 2009, MoneyGram turned a blind eye to scam artists and money launderers who used the company to commit fraud. During that time, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. lost money to a variety of money transfer scams, including fake lottery and prize scams, family emergency scams, and “guaranteed” loan scams.

How do these scams work? Generally, you get a call from someone who says:

  • you won a prize but you have to pay “taxes” on it
  • a friend is in trouble and needs your help
  • you can get a loan — even if you have bad credit — but you have to pay a small fee first

Whatever the pitch, the caller’s only goal is to get your money ­— not to give you something in return.

MoneyGram also agreed to step up their anti-fraud programs. Nevertheless, scammers continue to add new twists to old schemes and pressure people into sending money. Using a money transfer service is like sending cash ­— once you send the money, it’s nearly impossible to trace it or get it back.

Check out this video for more details:



Tagged with: money transfer, refunds, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I have a lady that wants to purchase a puppy from me. She sent me the check but included $250.00 for ME to transfer money to a pickup agent via money gram through Walmart. This sounds extremely odd to me. Has anyone dealt with something like this before?
I don't think I'm even going to deposit the check, I hear it can take a long time for my bank to realize it's a fake.

Yes you're not the only one. Two days ago I fell for a scam to purchase a Savannah kitten. The person sent me a sales contract in adoption papers and everything. Looked legit. Transferred 700 for a Walmart to Walmart transfer. Yet the person continue to egg me on once they receive the money. I felt so stupid. It's a hard lesson to learn but we can get through this!

What if I sent money to a person I didn’t even talk to or meet, but trusted the other persons word?

I just got ripped off by some virtual reality scam that has cost me $667.50. I am trying to get this fixed with the bank and sort this out, this is something Thad is terrible and I was in. I don’t know if the bank is going to do anything about it but that is unexceptable. I am a single moms trying to support a child and this guy looked legit and he seemed like a person who could help. But I was duped. I am gonna try and report him to the authorities. He sent me a picture but I don’t know if it is a legit pic or something found online. But I have got to try to get this fixed.

Please help. I sent money in western union app like 2 or 3 months ago He said please and keep pushing for him to get home to New York he also told me he works in Africa and wants money he said he needs more workers for him to go New York. I gave it. So last week I got a txt saying someone from u.s. Interpol and that they found out that I sent money to him and my name was in document and we’ll give you till tomorrow November 8 if we don’t hear from you the us Interpol officers will search for me and go jail. I hope it’s scam scam. Is it scam. Please help

I get about 4-5 everyday


Hi. I just recieved this e-mail responding to craigslist ad and thought it seemed suspicious:

Micheal Moore [mlbobby547m]
Thanks for your email and am so sorry for my late response, I own a small shipping business and I tend to operate a high cost of operation and I want to cut down my expenses by employing shipping and receiving personnel in each state individuals who will be receiving mails in bulk and then dispatch them in units to there final destinations in there respective states, for example the cost of sending each mail is around $13 by United Parcel Service and if we want to send out 100 mails, that would be around $1,300 which is too costly but we have a solution whereby, we ship the whole 100 mails in one package at the rate of $180 to you in your state and when you get it, you will open it and send the mail individually through United States Postal Service which will be $3 to $4.50 each and by doing this would be saving a large amount of money, so please I need a reliable individual that will be committed and enthusiastic about the job and you will be paid $500 every week and this is a long time position.
You will also be provided with funds to pay freight forwarder, you will be provided with funds to pay for USPS to dispatch the mails upfront, you will be provided with up to three thousand dollars as a running fund for dispatching the mails, sometimes, it may be packages of goods that you will be receiving and sometimes you may be required to pay for shipping and freight fees out of the funds we provide to you to pay another freight forwarder when we need the service of another freight forwarder, the items you will be re-mailing or shipping will include letters, office materials and office equipments, home theater, electronics and some other general consumer goods. I want to assure you that you will never use your own money for any expenses and you are not require to buy anything to begin the job, the job will only take around 10-15 hours of your time in a week and you can work whatever hours you want, the job is very simple once you have an address where you can accept mails and packages, and also have the time to re-mail the mails and packages through USPS sometime through some other freight forwarders, the mails and packages will contain gift cards, letters, office materials and equipments, home theater, electronics and some other general consumer goods, they are packages you can put in your room, or in your garage and if not we can rent a storage unit. You will have to present an ID either driver's license or any other personal ID to show to the delivery man when packages will be delivered to you and you have to show some sense of sincerity as you will be entrusted with clients mails, packages and funds to utilize for re-mailing expenses, please do let me know when you are ready to start and let me know if you have all the requirements needed for the job, you need to provide your information as well in order to proceed further.
I will like you to get back to me with your Contact Details such as:
Full Name:
Full Contact Address(Not P.O.Box please):
Zip Code:
cell Phone Number:
home Phone Number:
Email Address:
present Occupation:

Once i received your contact information I will get back to you with the task for this week, understand you will also be paid as soon as you pass this first assignment, You will be paid $500 at the end of the week.
Reason for taking up this job, and please note, you must be above 18 years of age to be eligible for this job.
You are going to be employed as Shipping and Receiving Personnel and all tax will be taken care of by me, your first weekly wage $500 salary will be paid by CHECK and the re-mailing funds will be provided constantly which will never finish in order to avoid you spending your own money so when the re-mailing funds are low additional re-mailing funds will be provided, and you are not require to buy anything to begin the job, it is a straight forward job opportunity.
Please do let me know how we should proceed so you can get started immediately.
Hope to hear from you soon.

You can file a complaint about this scam at

Stephanie, im glad you seen this suspicious.

Unfortunately i got scammed to a similiar craiglist ad like this above, He sent me a fake check, which i had deposited to my bank account, and thinking that it been credited to my account...
He would sent me to western union for money transfer, which i spend over $2,300 of my own money... I realized his check was returned to him from my account too late . I just want others to open up their eyes, and dont fall for this scammers!!!!

Hi I got scammed the same way too. First he sent me a check and then asked me to transfer money through western union and money gram. What happened in your case? Does your bank protect you against this or did you lose your money?

Same thing happened to my mom and i

This just happened to me i think and im not sure what to do. Am i going to jail?

You are responsible for the checks you deposit, even if you don’t know they’re fake. It’s best not to rely on money from any type of check until the bank confirms that the check has cleared, and it can take weeks for a bank to discover that a check was a forgery. Until the bank confirms that the funds from the check were deposited into your account, you are responsible for any money you withdraw against that check. You can read more about Fake Checks in this FTC article.

Are you going to jail for not knowing

Shriek, what did you do in that situation. I have a similar situation, does your bank return the money??

ok i meet this man on yahoo now he wants me to open an account and than text him back with the info he wants to tranfer his money into that what does this mean in i helping him to do somthing he shouldnt thank help plz thank you

Was his name Kelly Edwards?

My bank took care of it and Wells Fargo took his check and they cleared me because I never tried to cash or deposit the check he want me to cash it for cash and then send him the cash ...Not in my life time Wells Fargo is going after hi.Just be smart use your head....

Yes I have someone sending me cards with pin numbers an she wants me to pull the money out an send it to someone in China. I haven't done it but she sent me 4 credit cards with all different names but all the same pin? I don't know what to do !!!

This is a scam. Don't respond. Don't send the money. Report it to the FTC at

What is the contact information

Please help, im not sure whats happening...

I just got a new "job" which was an ad from craigslist. After exchanging information and going through a series of questions. I got the job, which was as a personal assistant.

My first task was to manage some finances, which was a check that was sent to my name and i deposited that into my bank account. Then i was to wire it through money gram to the client.

After that was finished, it is now showing a pending return check on the check i recieced earlier the week. I now have a 2,500 negative balance and i dont know what to do now...

Please help...

Omg this happend to me and its actually the freaking same job offer he told me send part of the money to 2 clients of his 1040 to each and pay 70.50 for the charges and keep 300 witch is soppost to be my weekly salary so I did everything as he told me but I happend to walk into my friend while I was doi g all of that and she tought it was susicious so I told her that I was gonna check n try to get more info of him when I go back home but I did spend the 300 on my rent and then I went home and I actually finish talking to the money gram people luckaly I was able to stop the transfer n and they told me to call the cops but I dont know what to do brcause yes I can get most of the money back but im $300 dlls short im afraid they could take to jail cuz I don even have 300 dlls to pay them

It's good that you were able to stop some of the wire transfers by calling MoneyGram.

You can report this to your state Attorney General and also to the FTC at

You are responsible for paying back the money you withdrew against that check. You can contact your bank and explain the situation.

Read the article Fake Checks for tips on recognizing a fake check scam.

Hey.. this is just happening to me. I put an ad on craigslist looking for work, this guy named David Mike replied via text and i said I was interested in the job and once he kept telling me to keep 300 and transfer the $2000 to someone else I said I quit. He wanted me to do it immediately. Now he already deposited the $ 2,000 in my bank account and now he want's it back but wont help me give the info of the bank to send it back to him. I accidently gave my info by accident. He said he was on vacation to buy a beach. Im scared that he;ll take my money from me cause i gave him my bank info. I never transferred the $ 2000 to his clients cause it's still in my account.

If someone has your bank account number they may take money from your account. Talk to somone at your bank and ask how to protect the money that is yours.

If a scammer sent you a fake check and you deposited it, it might look like there is money in your account right now. But later, when your bank finds out the check is fake, the bank will take that amount out of your account.

If you deposited a fake check and took money out immediately, you'll have to repay the bank when the bank finds out the check was fake.

I never deposited any money or check. This man named David Mike deposited thr $2000 in my account with my account information and is begging me to help give it back but he wont give me any information to let him have it back. I thought i was giving my account info to help the employer western union my money that i earn through wages. I never expected him to deposit that much money into my account.. This all happened yesterday. He is emailing me and can't find a legit email address from him.

Also, what is the number he tested you from or what app?

Where did he contact you from? How did you two communicate? What's his email ?

Same thing happens to me. But when they asked me to deposit the check in my account. I did and I got a doubt after that it may be a scam. Next day contacted the bank and informed about the job and check and they said its fake and closed my account. Now I am getting email from scammer and asking money. I do not know what to do. I am student and cannot report to the police.

The person who sent you a fake check is probably a criminal. You are not required to tell him what happened. You could block him from your email if you want. You can report this problem to the FTC and do not need to tell your name or addres. You can report at

I had a similar about a job. Is there a way for your bank to credit the account or someway I getting ya back because I am now in the hole with my bank?

the same thing just happened to me. I'm so scared. what do i do. im a college student and i just dont know how to do this. the girl got my online banking info, deposited the check and had me send her half of the money. then the found out the checks were counterfeit and i didnt know what to do. i dont mind paying back but i dont want to go to jail.

hey just curious as to how ur situation ended? bc I'm going through the exact same hing and I can't even sleep. I'm so scared. I didn't cash the checks, she did but I have her my card.

Omgggg the same thing happened to me! This girl said that I was eligible for a scholarship for people who wanted to go to school, but didnt have the means to do so. so I gave her my bank card and she deposited $5,000 into my account and the bank closed my account what happened? am I going to go to jail?

Are you in trouble ?? Did you use the money?

I'm going through the same thing. I owe the bank a lot of money. I can pay it back though. It just taking a toll on my life right now.

Im going through the same thing im so scared can anybody give me tips ?

I experienced the same thing. Single mom, hoping for the best on a to good to be true. They deposited $6000. The bank only held half the money. I wired them $2000 with the promise when the money cleared they would receive the remainder. Columbus Day delayed the ability to see if the checks were good. My hey were forged, and thankfully I am only resnsible for the $2000 I gave them. Now, I owe $2000, my credit report has taken a hit, I don't have the money and my refi for my home has been postponed because I don't have the money to pay this debt. being foolish for a moment has destroyed the ability I have to provide a roof over my head. Somethings just aren't fair, and I feel so stupid.

This almost happened to me but I went to the corner store to cash it instead of taking it to my bank and I almost got arrested the only reason I didn't get arrested was because the officer contacted a lawyer and since they didn't give me the money and I had no criminal record they left me go with a warning, officer said your old enough to to know that clean money is not easily earned you have to work hard to get your money si wake up and stop being naive. So please guys wake ups and stop falling for this people that only want your money or that will get you in trouble.

I know how you feel. my husband saw a website for virginislandscraigslist for cars and trucks for sale.He saw a white 2011 camry sedan and got in contact with the owner. They put up an email for their socall shipping company. They told him to send money through western unon. In all he sent $2,700.he is so vex right now. the money went to western union in Baltimore Maryland. I need help with this matter to get my money back. I am willing to take every step.

I just felt for a scam. I'm so depressed and feel so stupid. They caught me at my low i needed the money so bad that I was blind to the foolery. I end up sent 1450 threw money gram which was from a fake check It was a total of 1980. It wasent until 2 days later I see my bank overdrawn for 1700 I'm so devastated I don't know what to do.




I'm sorry this happened to you. You can report the scammer to the MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1‑800‑926‑9400, and to the FTC at You might want to tell your bank you were scammed, and ask if they can help you in any way, or waive the overdraft fees.

Wait what was the name your scammer used im in a similar situation at the moment with the exact same money amount

Hey I wanted to know if you were able to get the money you lost back. I am in the same situation right now and I really don't know what to do.

I just received the exact email as you to a t! Word for word! Different name of contact but, no name as far as a business name. I never gave them my ss#.. I'm curious if they can get any of my other info off the internet? Maybe open accounts in my name? The crazy thing is this happened to a friend of mine & the bank account of the check that he received happened to be the same bank that he banks through. So his bank said they couldn't cash it to bring it back in a couple days. Where I'm going with this is they're actually opening accounts in somebodies name & info.. They must be depositing the money & turning around and taking it out after writing the checks? I'm so happy for everyone posts because I was thinking about depositing the check. But, I never planned on mailing a $2500 check out of my account until it had cleared! Somebody has to do something because this is really hurting people. That are looking for employment and more than likely is writing a check out of their account & that's all they have to their name!

i'm holding an envelope now from Earl White New York address from Craig's list who offered a "job" that wants me to deposit the check,then western union most of it to his business contact in Mexico....

I was scam by Mystery Shoppers name Mark Anthony Jr. He sent me a fake check for $2850 and ask me to send through money gram... we decided not to do it and send it back the money to think the check is not fake but it was to late for me to find out my account is negative for the check he told me to deposited.

I was told to send it to the account #22xxxxxxxx to the name of Sims,Water and Associate Inc. in Bank of America.I sent it cash so I can't do anything to get back my money even though I came back to the back the next morning and told I was scam... the Bank of America knows the money was deposited by me and the account is active yet never try to return it to me they just make some report on their computer about it.

I did even report to the police but I was told that it will be hard for them to track down this scammer.Now I am trying to pay my bank for the money I loss.Sad but I believe in God's time these people will pay back if they will not stop and repent on their sin.Only God can do something impossible so I gave it all to Him. I just pray it will be sooner so no one can be a victim anymore.

I was scammed by media opportunities direct they said in a letter dated nov 23 2013 I won 1,677,519.00 said to send 26.00 shipping and handling . Check money order or cash I sent cash so they wouldn't have my bank account. Said send within a week I sent dec 2 2013 it came in mail nov 28th still no money ! I took pictures on phone of letter for proof .


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