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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
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Money & Credit


Hi, Rochelle, I'm sorry this happened to you. Please file a formal complaint at

American Web Loan took plenty of my money and now 2 years later have a place called United trying to get another $880.00 from me. AWL took so many payments I closed my account assuming I paid in full 3 times over. It's been 3yrs since hearing from these people so Yes I assumed I did pay them off. What do I do?

Check the statute of limitations regarding consumer loan debt and laws concerning the legality of the type of loan in your state. Many internet lenders are offering loans illegally to consumers in states where they are prohibited. If so, then the debt is unenforcible and even an attempt at collection would be a violation of the FDCPA, and other Federal statutes under the jurisdiction of the FTC and the CFPB. Do your research, keep your records, and check your credit report as often as you can for accuracy.

i was just scammed by ymax corp. in texas hang up if you get a call #1-713-931-3595 he calls himself steven.

Steven cooper by any chance I think he's trying to scam me now

I received a refund check #0278577 customer ID 1149418 on 01/03/2014 for $26.27,from FTC-Federal Trade Commssion advising a law suit was filed against Central Coast Nutraceuticals & adived I should deposit with in 60 days, after that check could bounce; my bank could charge me a fee. bank fees are $34. each time. Note the check is my share of the settlement-This check is being sent to me by a settlement administrator hired by FTC. IS THIS LEGITIMENT? or should I destroy the check, cost for bounced check is more than the check is woth. Thank you. Martin. 01/05/14

Yes, the FTC recently sent out refund checks to people who purchased health products made by Central Coast Nutraceuticals. You can learn more by visiting the FTC's refund page for this case.

Got a call from Mexico about getting my money back from a time share.The guy was from the Mexican Government,I just had to send him 1720 and he would send me $11,000.To good to be true

I put on craigslist that I was selling lingerie for100$ then I received a check for 1,800 I was wow im only asking for100$ so I destroy the check didn't cash it but now I'm being harassed that FBI is gonna come to my home ect a lot of negative text what should I do

My son had same happen to him! Ignore their threats! They will eventually leave you alone. We checked the name & all info on check out. This we were informed is the one they really are having trouble getting. Local law said if my son had cashed the check he would have been fined & jailed!

Almost the same with me I have not cashed check so just wanted to see if fbi came or if that was just threats

Take screen shots of all correspondence for your records. Then politely tell these scammers that younate notifying the cops for suspicious activity. That will shut them up immediately.

I was taken by sensa.dont buy this it doesn't work. They refuse to give your money back.48

I got a call from an indian lady name Erica Johnson and she to I was approved for 6,700 dollar grant and that I need to put three hundred dollars on a green dot card.

I was applying for a must needed loan and I got a call from a Natalie Johnson and I was so desperate I caved and now I don't have a bank account, I'm going to be evicted and It's cold in MN! I just don't know what to do. I have been sober for just over a year and I'm about to break...

Same here and she used abusive language to me and I told her that this is a scam and he threatend to have me arrested for saying such abusive language to her.

I received call from "Indian accent guy" claiming that I've been randomly selected by US govt for 7k grant. Instructions were to buy greendot $ pack, add $299, then call back and give info of greendot pack to receive 7k plus the 299. I'm glad to have found this web site with all these testimonials of previous scams. So, scammed18, I hope you didn't lose out on your $300.

I received a call like that yesterday from a man that I couldn't understand. He said that I needed to pay $150.00 upfront and that it would be paid back with the $7,000 grant. I was supposed to pick it up this morning. I will go directly to Government Grants to apply for a personal or business grant.

Same bad deal here justin j able 914_236-6343
914-977-5188 202-461-3468 payday to California took $350 for loan bs my kids lost christmas because i was stupid i call them and they are rude i call them theives and scam artist when they answer i have ann email from we were in desprate need and they prey on the needy i pray that some day i can look them in the eye as they head to prison for stealing a thief is a thief however they steal

Erica johnson and her team of scam artists called me today saying I was one of 2000 people receiving a 6700 dollar grant all I had to do was pay 200 in taxes on it first, did I dodge a bullet?

You guys always make sure that when you read all of your e-mails and g-mails that each e-mail and/or g-mail are valid e-mails, not those scam-mails.

My grandaughter got a call at work stating they were from the Federal Trade Commission and that someone had taken out a loan in her name and in order for them to investigate she needed to send them 150.00 by the next week or she would have to go to court. Is this legitimate because she has not taken out any loans. It scared her and she called me because she did not know what to do. I told her not to do anything.

Hi, the FTC will never call you and demand money for an investigation. This sounds like a variation of an imposter scam. Your granddaughter can file a complaint with the FTC at She also might want to order a free copy of her credit report from to make sure there are no loans or other credit accounts that she doesn't recognize.

Today I tried to apply for a debt consolidation loan for 3,000 to pay my credit cards off. I got a call from this phone number 209-315-5456. out of Riverbank CA the lady was not from the US hardly could understand her english. I knew that this was a scam at the beginning. She never stated what company she was from and I said when do I get my 3,000 dollars and she said that for us to process the loan I would need to get a moneypak green dot card for 200 dollars and then my money would be deposited in 35 minutes. I said that I have never heard such a thing and I said that this is a scam and I was not interested in the offer. And I hung up the call. And then 5 minutes later another phone call from a different state and area code, I did not answer I called the number back and the recording states that the number has been disconnected. That's a SCAM folks beware. Do not give out bank information or any personal info because these scammers will eat you up. And for one thing that it is illegal to have to pay for a fee to get a advanced loan.

SCAM-SCAM-SCAM-SCAM-SCAM. i tried to cash the check and the place wouldnt even give it back to me!!! look out for these guys.

Dear Part Time Evaluator,

You should have received your 1st assignment by now delivered through US postal service, ( which includes a check and instructions letter to follow ) Please follow instructions, deposit check for 1 business day and then cash out then take care of your 1st task immediately.

Thanks and Have a great day,

Christopher Brooke
Research/Evaluation Team.

I signed up to do Mystry shopping for walmart and western union. The website looked legitimate.
My first assignment was to check out western union and how things were running ct. I was asked to do a wiretransfer from a cashier's check after taking "my pay" out I was to send the rest to someone else.
NOW my bank says the cashier check was fraudulent and my account is in the an I recover the $ I had prior and go about reporting this?

Thanks for the info,I received a money order for 972.00 also mystery shopper. Ha Ha, Deposit in my bank and wire the remainder at western union to another mystery shopper. Scam. They need to get a little more creative, just how many times do western union need evaluating?

They are trynna scam me as i type, contacting me telling me the want to buy from me off craigslist but their assistant sent me too much money, take it to my bank cash it and send back the rest...thats silly

What a mess, and a waste of peoples time,, I just deposited one of the checks today, But now that I know what you guys have been through I will not follow any of the mystery shopper first evaluation steps for WalMart, Rite Aid, Radio Shack etc.. Sign so dissapointed

I just got the same thing from the exact name you posted Christopher Brook M.D.
I'm now in the hole with my bank for allot of money
They had me go to Wal-Mart n then western union n money gram as well
I'm so scared because these people have my home adress add well what do I do , I'm going to my bank today I have to shut everything down. And pay my bank back , I've had my account for years ,
And it did seem legit it really did.

same thing happened to me today!! what was the end result for you? Were you able to track the money order and get it stopped?

I got scam as well. He used a woman's name from Arizona and the bank is out of Texas. I called the lady about it. My bank can't verify the funds. So I didn't lose everything. It's just I was hoping it was real.

What was the name of the lady? Was it Wendy and where did you find the number

I was contacted in Nov. 2013 by Richard Gardner who said he was with Fidelity Investments, Real Estate Division. I was being awarded a settelment from them because they had sued Sharp Innovations LLC. who had scammed me in the past. I would also get money to refund my credit card (which I used in my dealing with Sharp). Richard went on to say they also sold my Starwood Vistana timeshare to a Linda Cohen. I would get a certified check in the amount of $48,850.00 within a week to 10 days via FedX or UPS if I sent them moneygrams (which totaled $1750 to $2000) which I stupidly did. Now I am unable to reach anyone on the phone. I know I have been scammed.

I was debited (CKCD Debit) $9.84 by CWEBCS.COM on my last bank statement. Never made this charge and internet is full of activity by numerous organizations perpretating this scam. What to do. I want my money back...

Yours is easier then the others because it goes through your bank account just contact your bank and tell them you didn't make that charge. And that you think someone may have gotten you card information now the big hassel is that you will have to get rid of that debit card and get a new one but they should look into the charge and in most cases you will get the money back. The fraud department of your bank will help walk you through doing what ever you need to do...good luck!

I just received a call from someone stating they were with the FTC asking if I received a registered /certified letter for a claim, I think from Llyod International, because records show I did not receive it yet. He stated it was from a survey I participated on December 16th. What I understood is this company apparently is liquidating and I am entitled to a large amount of money and taxes will have to be paid. I was never asked for any personal information or asked to pay anything. It was explained to me what I should receive in the mail and what needed to be mailed back, notarized etc etc...The address given to me was yours, 600 Pennsylvania NW....but the number is different from any of your listed on here, 202-558-4542. Very strange? Wish it was real for the large amount of cash supposedly to be given :-)
It definitely has my my red flags flying HIGH...

Sorry, but this is a scam. Most likely, you will be asked to deposit a check and then send some portion of it back to cover taxes or fees. Don't fall for it. The check will turn out to be a fake (it can takes weeks for a bank to uncover a fake check), and you will be responsible for paying the money back to the bank.

I figured it was is why I started my own little research online. So sad people do this to others :( Thank you for responding back so quickly. Have a nice day!

I just received a check in the mail for 1711.77 com a Katherine brenner. The bank on the check is a real bank and the routing number matches. I kno this is to good to be true but the check looks legit. Radar up, do you know what's up?

Mr. Lyles Scales @ 876-529-2051, is making harassing phone calls to my father Andrew Baldwin about winning the Mega Millions Sweepstakes and telling him that if he does not pay the money his Social Security Checks will be garnished to get the $1,000.00 needed to pay the fee owed to deposit the 2.5 million Dollars in his bank account. I spoke with Mr. Scales and he wouldn't tell me anything other than I could pay the money for him. I told him that my father does not want the money and that he is not to call him again or he will be reported for operating a scam. Please help to do something with these people that are praying on the elderly. Thank you and please contact me anytime.

I recieved 2 seperate postal money orders to do secret shopper also.I took them to the bank and deposited in a seperate account.Fake!!! never tried to cash them I have an awesome bank MMFCU.They held them for 30 days.I was told to take to law dept.They have names that can be traced,They came priority mail so had to sign for them.Postal problems also.Evidence does not fail.So loppojkout crooks you are about to be BUSTED.

I recently got scammed too by a secret shopper service, stating to be through Walmart. I've already reported the incident to local law and the FTC, now the scammer is threaten ting to press charges on me for harrassment! My bank is demanding the money, even though they did not follow through on protocol, to place a hold on the check! All I want is my money back. I'm only 19, I don't have two grand just laying around. So anyone beware of a secret shopper service!!! If you're contacted by someone named Tony Raymond, it is a scam!!! The local law or the bank is not willing to investigate at all! How could I go about back tracking on the USPS package I received the check in??? The place if was shipped out of and the address on it are two different states, that are no where near each other!! Please help!

If you think it's bad getting these fraudulent postal money orders, try being the person who's name is on them. My name was used and so far people have sent back to me nasty letters and phone messages thinking I am behind it! Never believe the letter and NEVER cash anything that requires you to use your own money.

I got one just a week ago I checked online for postal money orders how to spot and called the hotline turns out it's fake like I thought I'm turning it over to the FBI when I can find out how

I received a letter and a check for $3900 from Lincoln Financial Group in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada from a John Harris. The envelope return address was from Walmart, also in Canada, but the logo was in black and white, not blue like you would expect. In the letter it said I had won $250,000 in a "lottery sweepstakes" and $2600 of the $3900 check was earmarked to pay the "taxes" on my winnings.I was instructed by "Mr Harris", ( who by the way, did not sound American or Canadian, but spoke bad English with an Indian accent)to deposit the check in my account and to call back when that was done. I did not deposit the check and called back telling them I did. He then told me to use Money Gram to send 2 payments of $1300 each to 2 different women, Susan Tamni and Jennifer Coleman to an address in Cork, Ireland to satisfy the "taxes".
He urged me to act immediately so I could get the balance of my winnings the next day. The last time I got a check in the mail and deposited it, it turned out to be fake and it cost me $40 which I paid to the bank. I consider myself lucky to have gotten off so easy. Listen up people! If it sounds too good to be true, it is usually BS! There are so many unscrupulous rip-off artists in this world, it is mind-boggling! Do not fall for these scams, they are just trying to take your money and there is no way to find them if you fall for their sneaky tricks!

So I needed a loan really bad and didn't have anyone I knew personally to reach out to so i turned to Craigslist. I'm pretty hip to all the diff scams out there so I felt I could navigate these waters safely. This guy who's name is masamichi offered to loan me the amount I was asking which was $640 but the only kind of account I have is pay pal he forwarded me to his "financial bookkeepers" from a diff email they ask me for my account info I reluctantly give it to him. Then it gets weird he asked me for my user name and password to monitor the account. I refused since I had other accounts that were prepaid connected to my pay pal. The next day still in need of the loan I decided to disconnect all other accounts and give him the info he asked for. He wanted me to go to western union and send 1000 to his contact in Benin. By this point it's been a week and I'm just going along because each day he said there will be money in my pay pal and to go to western union and send it to Benin. About 8 days go by and this morning I wake up and sure enough there is 1000 in my pay pal. Now there is no way to deposit a fake check into pay pal it's a business account. The money has to be cleared first. There is no way to withdraw pending money through pay pal. I called to make sure of this. So I immediately logged into my PayPal and changed all my account login info that I had given the guy. I withdrew the total amount over 4 transaction and put it in a different account. What he wants me to do is send the 1k to Benin and then my 640 loan will be put into my account. I've researched and seen that it looks like they were using my account to have me sent legitimate STOLEN money. So I'm hanging onto the money until i find out more. I was told by the person at western union basically if it's comingg from USA and going to Benin and you don't know the person it's a scam Everytime. I wonder if they were trying to use me to do this numerous times because he keeps saying that he needs to trust me and I need to do this so he can trust me. So what do you all think? Is there a way that I could of possibly scammed the scammer?

Do not respond. They use stolen credit cards to purchase goods and have those goods ship to you. You will be liable for the stolen card AND THE STOLEN GOODS. Several people have been caught up in this scam and they ended having to pay.

I just caught on to a company called Saving Ace has been taking money out of my checking account for 4 years! Each year increasing amount. I just never thought I was being ripped off. These people get your information from using different sights, most popular one I read about is or Intellius. I've read tons of reviews that many people has come here to file a complaint and they are still in business and have not been caught yet! Each email I received from them started with member saving@ and each transaction that taken out of my account started with MVQ. They have different names for company. One that I learned about is called Adaptive Marketing. Watch for this, I didn't think it could happen to me, and it did.

I recently had a friend who applied for a loan through this friend owed me a large amt of money and told me upon receiving his loan would fully pay me back, but he needec 400 dollars to send as insurance which I gave (stupidly). He was on the phone with them the entire time while he used moneygram to send my 400. After sending he was then told they needed another 571 dollars to cover fees before releasing his loan. At this time I was very suspicious and talked to the man who had an indian accent stating this was a scam and demanded my 400 refunded. He stated they were a legitimate company but he couldn't refund the money until the rest was sent. I considered this a loss and went home very upset, my friend however had convincedhimself this was real and borrowed the money from a relative once again they promised to put the loan into his account upon reciept of money. The next problem was that they supposedly couldn't send the moneygram for the entire amount due to a law in Indiana that only allows so much money to be wired at a time. So now they had to send three installments each costing 200 dollars. I thought that I had convinced him to stop sending money and report them but he ended up sending the 800. It was at this point he called the FTC and wasvassigned a lawyer. Once he threatened thecompany they have promised the money will be there Monday and he can actually see the pending funds on his account. These people are out of Fl and always used the same numbers which we called and were legit. They insist they are not scammers and have always called back when they said they would. They are also supposed to not only send the original loan amt but also refund all fees. I went to website which looked legit and tried to find any complaints against them. I realize that no one should have to pay to get a loan. My question is what are the odds the money will be sent and has anyone ever dealt with this company? I need my money back because I have messed my bank account up badly due to being overdrawn, but I also worry about my friend who now owes three people money and is about to lose his mind over this. What should be our next step if this money isn't sent? Any help is appreciated


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